Cancer Support Being Overlooked By NHS, Charity Warns

13 January 2014

Cancer Support Being Overlooked By NHS, Charity Warns

Macmillan Cancer Support has warned that the NHS is not providing sufficient support to those people who are caring for loved ones diagnosed with cancer; that such “cancer carers” are in fact being “overlooked” by the NHS.

The charity stated that carers are not being provided with the practical help they need as well as the financial assistance to help their loved ones deal with the consequences of cancer.

2,000 cancer carers were polled by the charity and almost 40% of them said that they were given scant information about how to properly assist in providing the care their loved ones needed. Exactly 37% said a health professional had never given them advice or information about the services available to them in order to properly provide care to a loved one diagnosed with cancer; whether it was signposting or pointing them towards appropriate support or in providing financial support assistance.

As a result many carers felt emotionally affected with their mental health placed at risk, a “chronic” problem according to a spokeswoman from Macmillan Cancer Support.

The survey was released by the charity as it called for the Care Bill to be amended so the NHS in England has a responsibility to identify cancer carers.

" Many cancer carers are buckling under the relentless strain of caring because they aren't getting the support they need," said Macmillan Cancer Support's chief executive Ciaran Devane.

" This is despite the fact they provide care worth billions a year.

"Procedures and systems aren't in place to ensure the NHS routinely identifies cancer carers and signposts them to much-needed practical, emotional and financial help.

"The legal duty, currently just on local authorities to identify carers with unmet needs, must be extended so the NHS has a similar responsibility. This makes much more sense as cancer carers have far more contact with health professionals than their local authority."

Have you or a loved one experienced a poor level of support care as a carer for somebody who has been diagnosed with cancer? Are you concerned not only with the support care but the actual treatment of cancer in question or possible misdiagnosis? has a number of specialist cancer teams which can provide you with advice, guidance and support about your patient and healthcare rights, whether you would like to make a formal complaint, raise issues regarding treatment or to even make a medical negligence compensation claim.