Macmillan Cancer Support welcomes the government’s announcement that it will implement plans to improve co-ordination between health and social care (Plans unveiled for ‘joined-up’ health and social care, 14 May). People with cancer and their carers are often being let down by the current system, particularly at the end of life. Although the vast majority of people with cancer want to die at home surrounded by their loved ones, most will die in hospital simply because joined-up care services are not available in their local communities.
The free service at the specialist cancer support centre helped to ease money worries of people, some terminally ill, who find it hard to cope.
Last year nearly 1,000 people sought information from Maggie’s about entitlements, making benefits advice one of the services most in demand at the centre in the City Hospital grounds, where emotional, practical and psychological support is provided.
Cancer patients list money worries as a main concern, second only to major pain, and it is only once they have been helped to put their finances in order that they can focus on treatment.
The vital support is likely to be more crucial than ever in the year ahead due to benefit cuts, such as the new bedroom tax, which started this month.