Policy and research about work and cancer
Improving access to vocational rehabilitation Back to top
Macmillan thinks government needs to do more to improve access to employment support after a cancer diagnosis. To kick-start a debate on this, we launched a policy report which builds on earlier research, particularly the work of the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative (NCSI) project.
In the report we:
- Outline the importance of work, both to people with cancer and the economy
- Make the case for government action on vocational rehabilitation
- Call on health and work departments in the four UK nations to take responsibility for improving access to vocational rehabilitation.
The Work Foundation has also launched a report on cancer survivors and their return to work. You can download the Work Foundation report from its website (link opens in new window).
Download our report Making the shift: Providing specialist work support to people with cancer [PDF].
Influencing the Health and Work ServiceBack to top
The new Health and Work Service, which is set to be launched in 2014, presents an important opportunity for the government to tackle the issue of sickness absence. Aimed at helping people who have been off work sick for four weeks, it is designed to provide independent and authoritative advice to the individual, the employer and the GP in order to facilitate a return to work. By intervening at this stage the government hopes to prevent people from leaving the labour market prematurely.
In response to this new service, Macmillan and The Work Foundation hosted an event aimed at collating the collective expertise of a large number of health and disability charities and patient groups. With a focus on long term conditions, the event was designed to help inform the Department for Work & Pensions (DWP) in designing the service, highlighting the issues that these organisations believe DWP will need to consider if it is to make an impact. This report is based on the discussion from this event.
Download the Final report of health and work service workshop [PDF].
NCSI Vocational Rehabilitation projectBack to top
Returning to work after cancer treatment can be difficult and the needs of individual patients will vary from straightforward to highly complex.
The NCSI Vocational rehabilitation pilot project [PDF] was a joint partnership between Macmillan, the Department of Health and NHS Improvement which looked at the best way to address these needs.
This project developed a model of three levels of work support interventions required for people with cancer including specialist vocational rehabilitation.
You can read more about the pilot sites and the evaluation findings in the NCSI vocational rehabilitation evaluation final report July 2012 or the evaluation summary report.
Vocational rehabilitation prescriptionsBack to top
We commissioned a scoping study on the innovative concept of vocational rehabilitation prescriptions as a potential means to improve access to specialist vocational rehabilitation support.
This piece of work concluded that there is broad support and interest for the concept, but found that other issues need to be addressed at the same time (such as the availability of services and training of healthcare staff).
Macmillan is currently considering next steps on this project.
Download our report Working it out: Improving access to specialist Vocational Rehabilitation [PDF].
Support for small and medium enterprises (SMEs)Back to top
NCSI and Macmillan has carried out research looking at work and cancer support needs of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) following the successful development of the work and cancer toolkit for large employers.
The executive summary [334 kb] is available to anyone who is interested in health and wellbeing at work, managing long term conditions and sickness absence. If you would like more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Evaluation of the Pathways to work programmeBack to top
This study, conducted by Matrix Knowledge Group for Macmillan Cancer Support, explored the extent to which the Jobcentre Plus Pathways to Work (PtW) scheme and the NHS-run Condition Management Programmes are effective in helping people with cancer get back to work. The resulting report casts doubt on whether PtW is meeting the needs of people living with cancer – available to download below.
Reports about work and cancerBack to top
Further work and cancer information from Macmillan
Visit our main Work & cancer section for more in-depth information about work and employment related issues, for both employees and employers.