Charity partnership helps cancer patients return to workBecky Slack
Cancer patients who want to return to or remain in work are being assisted by a new project run by Shaw Trust, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and Macmillan Cancer Support.
Since July 2010, more than 160 people have been supported with information, advice and support. It has been so successful, those running the project expect it to double the initial target of 150 patients supported over a 12 month period.
More than 100,000 people of working age are diagnosed with cancer each year. According to Macmillan, four in ten employed people with the disease have to make changes to their work, with almost half of these changing jobs or leaving work altogether.
"We know that people who have had cancer treatment have experienced a range of problems when returning to work, and that many are not getting the advice and support they need," said Maureen Rutter, Director of Macmillan Cancer Support in Northern England. "We want to ensure that people feel supported in their decisions and that both employees and managers have the information they need to deal with any issues.'
The pilot is funded by the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative, a partnership between the Department of Health and Macmillan Cancer Support, and will run until the end of July 2011. Shaw Trust is working with The Christie and Macmillan to fund a longer term project to ensure that more cancer patients benefit from this valuable service.
"People diagnosed with cancer and undergoing treatment should not have to overcome these hurdles alone. Yet all too often patients are ill advised and poorly prepared for the effect cancer may have on their ability to work; they are left feeling abandoned and unsure of where to turn for help," said Shaw Trust chief executive, Sally Burton. "Demand for this new employment service demonstrates the urgent need for information and support on how to cope with cancer and work, both for employees and employers."
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