Launch of Inverclyde Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey Service
VITAL NEW £320,000 SERVICE FOR PEOPLE AFFECTED BY CANCER COMES TO INVERCLYDE
A new service to ensure people living with cancer and their families are offered emotional, practical and financial support has been launched in Inverclyde as part of a successful model spreading around Scotland.
Macmillan Cancer Support, Inverclyde Health and Social Care Partnership and Your Voice Inverclyde Community Care Forum are working with a range of partners across Inverclyde to make sure local people affected by cancer can access all the help they need – via just one call or email.
Anyone affected by cancer, including family members and carers can access the new Inverclyde Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey Service at any stage from diagnosis to beyond treatment. The service will see people newly diagnosed with cancer sent a letter offering a meeting with a dedicated one-to-one Wellbeing Practitioner. The Wellbeing Practitioner will then help the person access a wide range of support, from benefits advice and emotional support to help at home or with other practical needs. Anyone affected by cancer can access the service by simply calling or emailing the team to arrange an appointment.
In partnership with the Scottish Government, Macmillan Cancer Support has invested £320,000 into the project, which will see all partners working together to provide seamless, accessible and personal support for people affected by cancer.
There are around 3,000 people living with cancer across Inverclyde. By 2030, one in two of us can expect to be diagnosed with cancer at some point in our lives.
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 an enormous 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 Interim Head of Partnerships for Scotland & Northern Ireland, Gordon McLean said:
“Cancer has a huge impact on every aspect of people's lives and many people tell us they don't know where to turn for help. This new service should make sure everyone with cancer and their families and carers in Inverclyde have someone to call on for help.
Improving the Cancer Journey practitioners will help individuals to identify their needs and access expert support, from benefits advice to emotional support – whatever they might need. We hope this service will transform cancer support in Inverclyde.
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 can make a huge difference to the lives of people affected by cancer in Inverclyde.”
Councillor Robert Moran, Inverclyde Integrated Joint Board Chair, said:
“I was delighted to attend the official launch event for Improving the Cancer Journey in Inverclyde. Having gone through my own cancer treatment journey in 2011, I know how important support services like this can be to people with cancer and their loved ones.
Inverclyde has a longstanding close working relationship with Macmillan Cancer Support. The Health and Social Care Partnership Advice Services Team have delivered specialist welfare advice in conjunction with Macmillan for the past 15 years supporting an estimated 7,000 individuals with cancer, their families and loved ones in that time.
The real strengths of Inverclyde are its people and that is why the exceptional and innovative network of services across Inverclyde will deliver timely solutions for people with cancer and their families.”
Karen Haldane, Executive Officer, Your Voice Inverclyde Community Care Forum said:
“We are delighted to have had a positive impact and assisted over 500 local people affected by cancer since the service started in November last year.”
The project is open to everyone aged 18 and over living with cancer regardless of their cancer type or where they live in Inverclyde. To find out more about the Inverclyde Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey service call 01475 728628 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Purdie, a retired school finance officer from Gourock shared her story of using the Inverclyde Improving the Cancer Journey service at the launch event.
When Mary was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2022, it came as a huge shock, and she was referred to the service by her lung cancer specialist nurse.
Through the Holistic Needs Assessment process, Mary was able to identify that she was in a lot of distress about her cancer diagnosis and another health problem. She was referred to a range of community support, including the Moving Forward Programme in Ardgowan Hospice, help with her sleep, and welfare benefits advice. Mary attended the Macmillan Health Hub on a weekly basis for emotional support.
Mary feels that in terms of her mental and physical health, she is now “a million miles away” from the place she was in at the start of 2023.