A new service to ensure cancer patients are offered emotional, practical and financial support has been launched in Fife.
Macmillan Cancer Support and the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership are working with a range of partners across the region to make sure cancer patients across the area can access all the help they need – by making just one phone call.
The new Fife Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey Service will see every newly diagnosed cancer patient in Fife sent a letter offering a meeting with a dedicated one-to-one support worker. The worker will then help the patient access a wide range of support, from benefits advice and emotional support to help at home or with other practical needs. Anyone currently living with cancer can also access the service by simply calling the team to arrange an appointment.
Macmillan Cancer Support has invested £1.1m into the project, which will see the Health and Social Care Partnership and other third sector organisations working together to provide a seamless, accessible and personal support for people affected by cancer.
Fife is a region with higher than average incidence of all main cancers. There are 13,500 people living with cancer in Fife and we expect this to grow to over 24,000 by 2030.
While it’s good news that advances in treatment mean that more people than ever are surviving, it also means that people living with cancer are living longer, often with long-term effects of treatment or other health conditions that have a huge impact on health, wellbeing and independence. Many of them don’t know where to go for help coping with the non-medical effects of the illness.
Macmillan’s Head of Services in Scotland, Janice Preston, said: “Cancer has a huge impact on every aspect of people’s lives and many patients tell us they don’t know where to turn for help. This new service should make sure everyone in Fife with cancer has someone to call on for help, no matter what they need. We hope this service will transform cancer support in Fife.
“It’s thanks to the continued support from people locally, who fundraise for us and donate so generously, that we are able to fund this vital new service. With their help we are able to make a huge difference to the lives of people affected by cancer in Fife.”
Michael Kellet, Director, Fife Health & Social Care Partnership added: “This new service will make a huge difference for those diagnosed with cancer and their family and friends. Getting information and advice on the things we take for granted will help support people to deal with their illness. It’s thanks to the partnership working across Health & Social Care Partnership, Macmillan Cancer Support, Fife Council, NHS Fife and the voluntary sector that we are able to provide this service.
The project is open to everyone aged 16 and over living with cancer regardless of their cancer type or where they live in Fife. To find out more about the Fife Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey service call 01592 578 076 or Improving.CancerJourney@fife.gov.uk
At the launch (from left) Janice Preston, Cllr David Graham, Shirley-Anne Somerville, Jacquie Stringer, Bruce Hamilton, Valerie Ireland and Michael kellet