A ground-breaking new service which ensures cancer patients in Dundee are offered emotional, practical and financial support has reached an important milestone.
Over 100 people have now had their needs assessed by the Dundee Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey service, a joint venture between the charity, Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership and other partners.
The scheme provides a seamless, accessible and personal support service for people living with or affected by cancer.
Since its launch, the service has been sending a letter to every newly-diagnosed cancer patient in Dundee offering them a meeting with a dedicated one-to-one support worker.
The worker then helps the patient access a wide range of assistance, from benefits advice and emotional support to help at home or with other practical needs. Anyone currently living with cancer or caring for someone with cancer can access the service by simply calling the team to arrange an appointment.
Feedback from service users has been positive, with people confirming that they really value what has been offered. Many point to the good practical and personal support they are receiving from the service and the access they have with a named professional worker.
Michelle Selvey, a support facilitator with the project, said: “The Dundee Improving Cancer Journey service has been a lifeline for people living with cancer in Dundee.
“Almost everyone we’ve met has told us that we've come into their lives just when they needed us and didn't know where else to turn for information and support.
“By asking people what matters most to them and taking a person-centred approach, we've been able to provide help with worries about money, much-needed emotional support and help people to feel able to face the future".
Chairman of the DHSCP integrated joint board, Councillor Ken Lynn, said: “Cancer is a condition that affects so many people with numbers increasing each year. By 2030, one in two of us can expect to be diagnosed with cancer at some time in our lives.
“Dundee is a city with higher than average incidence of all main cancers. There are expected to be over 8000 city residents living with cancer by 2030.
“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 Dundee Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey Service is making a difference.”
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. That is why Macmillan invested over £1 million to introduce this new service to make sure everyone in Dundee with cancer has someone to call on for help, no matter what they need. We are delighted to see the impact it is having so far and hope more people locally will get in touch with the team to get the much needed support they deserve.”
The service now plans to build on the success it has had so far in reaching people living and affected by cancer and improve outcomes for people it works with.
The service is open to everyone aged 18 and over living with cancer regardless of their cancer type or where they live in the city.
To find out more about the Improving the Cancer Journey service call 01382 433340 or email firstname.lastname@example.org