A new service to ensure cancer patients are offered emotional, practical and financial support has been launched in Dundee.

Macmillan Cancer Support and The Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership are working with a range of partners across the city to make sure cancer patients in the city can access all the help they need – by making just one phone call.

The new service will see every newly diagnosed cancer patient in Dundee 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 £1m into the project, which will see The Health and Social Care Partnership, Dundee City Council, Leisure & Culture Dundee, NHS Tayside and other third sector organisations working together to provide a seamless, accessible and personal support for people affected by cancer.

Dundee is a city with higher than average incidence of all main cancers. There are just under 6000 people living with cancer in Dundee and we expect this to grow to over 8000 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 Dundee with cancer has someone to call on for help, no matter what they need. We hope this service will transform cancer support in Dundee and help people with cancer to live their lives.

“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 Dundee.”

Chair of the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership Ken Lynn said: “Today’s launch is the start of a journey to transform care and support for people living with cancer. We will all know someone who has been affected by cancer. However, what is perhaps less known, is where people can go to get the help and support which meets their individual needs.

“This new and ground-breaking service will work with a range of partners to get the best possible outcomes for people affected by cancer. This means providing individuals with tailored practical and personal support based on what matters to them. The dedicated support of a named professional worker to everyone using the service will help ensure that individuals living with and beyond cancer can live as well and as independently as possible.”

The project 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 improving.cancerjourney@dundeecity.gov.uk (link sends e-mail)

About Macmillan Cancer Support

There are 2.5 million people living with cancer in the UK. One in two people are likely to get cancer in their lifetimes. Cancer can affect everything, including a person’s body, relationships and finances.

Macmillan Cancer Support provides practical, emotional and personal support to people affected by cancer every year. The charity is there to support people during treatment, help with work and money worries, and listen when people need to talk about their feelings.

Macmillan receives no government funding and relies on generous donations from the public. People up and down the country show their support for Macmillan – from hosting or attending a World’s Biggest Coffee Morning to running a marathon or giving up alcohol – so the charity can help more and more people affected by cancer every year.

Life with cancer is still your life and Macmillan is there to help you live it.