Call for candidates to make cancer support a priority

Macmillan's head in Scotland Janice Preston
Macmillan's head in Scotland Janice Preston

A charity is calling on council election candidates in Angus to make support services for people with a cancer a priority if they are elected.

Macmillan Cancer Support made the call as new statistics released by ISD Scotland show that 2535 people in Tayside were diagnosed with cancer in 2015.

The charity says the figures are a stark reminder of the number of people living with cancer and the challenges facing the health and social care system.

Previous research from Macmillan has found many people with cancer need help to cope with the emotional, practical and financial problems caused by the illness.

Macmillan are urging those standing for election to make sure they understand the vital role local authorities have to play in supporting people with cancer, especially with the establishment of the new health and social care partnerships.

Macmillan’s head in Scotland Janice Preston said: “Cancer is often seen as a problem that hospitals deal with.

“However cancer can affect every aspect of a person’s life. Mobility problems, extreme fatigue and money worries are just a few of the problems people tell us they face.

“Local authorities across Scotland already provide some fantastic services for people with cancer, from benefits advice to social care, and we want to see that continue.

“We also want every local authority to make sure they have a long term plan that sets out how they’ll support local people with cancer to get coordinated support, working closely with the NHS via the new health and social care partnerships.

“The new councillors who are elected on May 4 all have a role to play in making sure joined up support for people with cancer is a key priority in the coming years and we hope they’ll pledge their support.”

Macmillan is working with local authorities across Scotland to put in place support services to tackle these problems including benefits advice and emotional support in libraries.

The charity is also funding pioneering services within councils that assess all the emotional, practical and financial needs of people with cancer before helping them access coordinated care.