In an article published by the Mail Online today, figures show that “over 100,000 cancer patients are not given enough help with routine tasks such as, washing, dressing and getting to appointments.” Macmillan says the problem is partly the fault of doctors and nurses failing to tell patients how to access extra help from the NHS, councils or voluntary organisations.
Macmillan reports that “the lack of support from the NHS and local councils is leaving patients distressed, lonely and humiliated.” It estimates that around 512,000 cancer patients, around one in three of the 1.6 million diagnosed in the last ten years, do not get enough help and care.
Frank Spurrock,63, a retired teacher from Kent, told the Mail Online that he is housebound for most of the week unless a friend or relative calls round. His partner works away in London to try and support them both. Frank applied for help and support and was told by his local council, he was not eligible for funding to pay for his care, because he has a pension!
NHS England gave this statement. “We are diagnosing and treating more people with cancer than ever before, and as a result more people than ever are surviving. We are putting an unprecedented focus on better integrating health and social care services across the country.”
Do NHS staff need better training to deal with more patients? Do doctors and nurses need better training to inform patients of what is available to them? Do more people need to take up a career in the health and social care sector?