Call For Better Training As Research Reveals ‘Risk To Carers and Cancer Patients’

Specialist Medical Negligence Lawyers Call For More Medical Training For Carers


Medical law experts at Irwin Mitchell have called for better medical training for carers of cancer patients in light of alarming new research which highlights a shortcoming in the area.

New figures released by Macmillan Cancer Support suggest that cancer patients and their carers are being put at risk because of a shocking lack of medical training.

The disturbing statistics show that carers are being left to do jobs such as change dressings, give out medicines and manage infections without sufficient advice.

The charity’s poll revealed that 45% of carers were doing healthcare tasks without training from NHS staff or social care workers, and even those who do receive training say they only get 20 minutes on average to learn the tasks.

Macmillan asked 2,000 cancer carers in the UK, of which 18% provided medical help for their loved one.

One in six (17%) of these said the person they are caring for has ended up in hospital because of their lack of information or training.

Macmillan said it was "very concerned" that 1.1 million cancer carers in the UK are still not being supported, despite the introduction of the new Care Act in England more than six months ago which placed requirements on local authorities to work with the NHS to identify and support carers.

The survey also found that 20% of carers have been asked to stay outside the room during hospital appointments against their wishes, or the wishes of the person they care for.

When they have been allowed in the room during hospital appointments, 24% have felt ignored or overlooked.

Mandy Luckman, a partner and medical law expert at Irwin Mitchell, said that more training must be given to carers to ensure safety and improve the wellbeing of cancer patients.