A programme which offers dedicated one-to-one cancer support is to be rolled out across Scotland over the next 4 years.
Following localised successful trials by Macmillan Cancer Support the Scottish Government will match fund what is offered bringing the total to £18million.
Janice Preston, Head of Macmillan Services in Scotland, said:
“Cancer doesn’t just affect people physically, it can hit every aspect of life. Too often people don’t know where to turn for help.
“Medical professionals do all they can, but they just don’t have the time or knowledge to support people properly with problems like not being able to afford to pay their rent, or find the energy to make themselves meals.
“Macmillan has been testing the effect of offering one-to-one support from diagnosis onwards.
“The impact it has had in Glasgow and other areas in the country has been incredible. We’re delighted to be partnering with the Scottish Government to spread this support across Scotland as quickly as possible.
“Our ambition is to have it available to every cancer patient in Scotland within four years, making Scotland the first place in the UK where everyone with cancer will be guaranteed assessment and tailored care from diagnosis onwards.”
Every newly diagnosed cancer patient in Scotland will have a support worker with The Transforming Cancer Care Programme.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said:
“Dealing with the physical and emotional impact of cancer is traumatic enough without having to cope with the stress it places on other aspects of daily life for individuals and their families.
“This £18 million partnership will make Scotland the first country in the UK where cancer patients will have access to dedicated practical, financial and emotional help.”
In Wales Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board has partnered with Macmillan Cancer Support to set up Transforming Cancer Services Together, a programme to redesign the way services are delivered to provide better care and support to patients.
There are a large number of redesign programmes underway by Macmillan and its partners but this is the first in Wales to look at a patient’s entire journey, from referral by a GP, to treatment in hospital, to living with and beyond cancer.
Richard Pugh, Head of Services (Wales) for Macmillan Cancer Support, said:
“Macmillan Cancer Support is pleased to be working in partnership with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board to fund this innovative £900,000 programme thanks to the public’s generosity.
“Transforming Cancer Services Together aims to improve cancer care for people living with the most common cancers in North Wales and the programme is part of the £6 million Macmillan’s invested in cancer services in the area since 2010.”
The programme will run for the next two to three years and is being led by Macmillan Programme Manager Yvonne Lush, who is also a former breast cancer nurse specialist.
In Liverpool The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre (NHS Foundation Trust) a new specialist cancer hospital will open next year.
The new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre will provide specialist chemotherapy and other drug therapies, including immunotherapy, radiotherapy, inpatient and outpatient care, cancer support and rehabilitation, bone marrow transplant and urgent cancer care. There will also be a dedicated teenage and young adult unit.
It will care for a population of 2.4 million people from across Merseyside, Cheshire and beyond, with solid tumours and blood cancers, and will also carry out clinical trials of new cancer treatments. The vision is not just to build a new hospital but to transform how cancer services are delivered.
The Scotland Wide Scheme
The Transforming Cancer Care Programme being rolled out in Scotland will support patients in a wider sense leaving cancer care teams in hospitals able to focus solely on the provision of personalised medical care and support.
First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon said:
“The programme will help fulfil the Scottish Government’s ambitions to ensure everyone with cancer is offered a personal care plan and access to the support they need, making it easier for people to continue their personal and professional lives for as long as possible whilst under-going cancer treatment.”
Reporter: Fiona Grahame
Images: Scottish Government