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A ground-breaking new service which ensures cancer patients in Fife are offered emotional, practical and financial support has reached an important milestone. In the last 12 months over 600 people have now had their concerns addressed by the Fife Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey service, a joint partnership between the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership and Macmillan Cancer Support.

The good news is that, with advances in treatment, more people than ever are surviving and people who are living with cancer are often living longer. We know that the impact of cancer does not suddenly stop when the treatment is over. People often have to deal with the long-term effects of treatment or other health conditions that can have a huge impact on health, wellbeing and independence. Many of them often don’t know where to go for help coping with the impact it can have on their lives beyond the physical effects. This is where the Fife Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey Service (ICJ) is making a difference.

The ICJ link workers provide a person-centred approach and discuss “what matters” to the person.

Julie Paterson, Divisional General Manager (Fife-wide), Fife Health & Social Care Partnership said: “This is an extremely valuable service for those in Fife living with cancer. Everyone deals with cancer differently and we want to make sure that those impacted by cnacer are aware of the service and how we can continue to support them to live as well as possible.”

Pamela Harrower from Blairhall was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2018

The news came as a complete shock. I had no symptoms and was the healthiest I had felt in a while. My medical team were fantastic and during treatment I was so focused on getting through it that I didn’t have time to think about anything else. However, once treatment finished I felt I needed even more support. Thankfully I had received information about the Improving Cancer Journey and gave the team a call. 

“My link worker Sharon Breeze talked through everything with me which was such a relief. It felt like the first time I had properly talked about it all. She broke down all our concerns and addressed each of them, from money worries to fitness and my mental health”.

Scottish Government and Macmillan Cancer Support announced joint funding of £18m to enable everyone diagnosed with cancer in Scotland to have access to a dedicated support worker through the Transforming Cancer Care programme.

Pamela Harrower and Sharon Breeze were invited along to the announcement delivered by the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Health Minister Jeanne Freeman to share their experiences.

To find out more about how the Improving the Cancer Journey can help, call the service on 01592 578076 or email  improving.cancerjourney@fife.gov.uk.

Additional information:
Improving Cancer Journey website