A ground-breaking support service has secured over half a million pounds in financial support for people living with cancer across Dundee.
The Dundee Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey (ICJ) service provides a seamless, accessible and personal support service for people living with or affected by cancer.
The half a million pounds in financial support and benefits has been secured for over 300 people living with cancer in Dundee since January 2019. This latest figure comes during Challenge Poverty Week, a week dedicated to highlighting innovative ways to fight poverty.
The Dundee Macmillan ICJ service is a cancer support service designed to help people access any kind of support they need, from financial support for loss of income or household bills, to practical and emotional support throughout their cancer journey. The service also provides support for family members and carers of those living with cancer.
Deputy Convener of the Policy and Resources Committee Councillor Willie Sawers said: “We know that one of the biggest issues for people following a cancer diagnosis is about their finances.
“The council, in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, continue to provide an amazing service which maximises the benefits available to people living with cancer.
“Securing over half a million pounds is a phenomenal amount of money and will make a real difference to cancer patients, their families and carers in time of ill health or crisis.
“As coronavirus continues to cause havoc on people’s lives and finances, it is more important than ever that we work to secure all the money and benefits people are entitled to and take away a degree of worry.”
Gordon McLean from Macmillan Cancer Support said: “It’s no exaggeration to say that getting a cancer diagnosis is life-changing and, for many people, the financial impact can be devastating.
“A recent Macmillan study found that one in three people with cancer in Scotland (32%) are severely financially impacted by their diagnosis. Cancer can bring all sorts of financial pressures, such as loss of income due to being off work, increased household bills and travel to and from hospital appointments for treatment. Having someone available to help get the support you need and relieve some of that anxiety during cancer is vital.
“As covid-19 continues to cause major disruption, it’s more important than ever that there is emotional, practical and financial support available from services like these for people living with cancer. We must ensure cancer does not become the ‘Forgotten C’”
With the pandemic bringing restrictions to face-to-face meetings, the service adapted the way it worked to function as a virtual service since the start of lockdown. Support workers now conduct all one-to-one discussions with patients over the phone or via a video consulting service which enables people to have health and social care appointments from home or wherever is convenient.
Dundee Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey is a joint venture between the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership and Macmillan Cancer Support who fund the support service.
The service is open to everyone aged 18 and over living with cancer regardless of their cancer type or where they live in the city.