Macmillan Calls For Better Cancer Patient Social Care

Charity Says 160,000 With Disease Are Housebound Due To Lack Of Support

11.03.2015

Four out of five people with cancer receive no social support, with 160,000 patients left housebound or unable to wash or dress themselves, new research from Macmillan has claimed.
 
The charity said that many people living with cancer have social care needs that are not yet recognised, let alone dealt with sufficiently. Many sufferers were found to be unaware of the practical, personal and emotional support available, due in part to a lack of information available from care providers.
 
"People at all stages of the disease are lacking the care and support they desperately need, with devastating consequences for their health and dignity," the report said.
 
"This lack of dignity is contributing to the huge emotional toll that cancer can inflict. People are living with constant feelings of fear, anger and isolation, not to mention depression and anxiety."
 
The Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, Lynda Thomas, said: "There is a growing recognition that social care is often vital for people living with long-term conditions. But unfortunately people with cancer have been highlighted as a group that already have all of their needs met by the NHS, because they are thought to be purely medical in nature.
 
"Today's findings debunk this unfair myth. They show that people with cancer have needs which are far more widespread than we had even realised and that sadly the health and social care systems are too often failing to provide people with basic support."

Expert Opinion
The provision of the best quality of care for those suffering with cancer is absolutely crucial, which includes ensuring they have access to the help and support they need beyond their medical treatments. We have seen the impact high-quality support services can have on those suffering with cancer and we welcome the calls from Macmillan for the improvement of social care in this area.

“Practical, personal and emotional support can play a critical role in ensuring patients are able to deal with their diagnosis and treatment properly. Having this support to rely on can help sufferers deal with the emotional element of cancer and it is crucial these services are improved to allow patients to progress with their lives once they have fought and defeated cancer.”
Mandy Luckman, Partner