A ground-breaking support service that has helped hundreds of people affected by cancer in Dundee is celebrating a new milestone.
The Dundee Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey project – a joint venture between the charity, Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership and other partners – marked its second anniversary.
Latest figures show that the team has now completed over 700 Holistic Needs Assessments, which create personalised programmes of practical and emotional support for people living with cancer, their carers and families.
These include first assessments and follow-up meetings with patients.
Councillor Ken Lynn, vice chair of the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “This project is making a real difference to the lives of people living with cancer and their loved ones.
“It helps in lots of ways – for example helping to secure hundreds of thousands of pounds in benefits. We know that financial matters are a huge worry for people after a cancer diagnosis.
“But that’s just one aspect of the seamless and personal support service that Macmillan ICJ offers. We know from feedback that it is having a positive impact on users, addressing and reducing concerns that they may have.”
Since its launch, the service has been sending a letter to every newly-diagnosed cancer patient in Dundee, offering them a meeting with a dedicated one-to-one support worker.
The worker then helps the patient access a wide range of assistance, from emotional support to help at home or with other practical needs. Anyone currently living with cancer or caring for someone with cancer can access the service by simply getting in touch with the team to arrange an appointment.
Mr Lynn added: “We’re getting referrals to the projects from all sorts of sources, which means that the project team had their busiest month ever in October – helping new patients at a rate of more than one a day.
“I’m delighted to see that the pilot phase of the project, which was due to end in the summer, has been extended into next year.”
Dundee is a city with higher than average incidence of all main cancers.
There are expected to be more than 8,000 city residents living with cancer by 2030.
With advances in treatment, more people than ever are surviving and people who are living with cancer are often living longer.
Macmillan’s head of services in Scotland, Janice Preston, said: “Cancer has a huge impact on every aspect of people’s lives and many patients tell us they don’t know where to turn for help.
“We are delighted to see the impact it is having so far and hope more people locally will get in touch with the team to get the much needed support they deserve.”
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.
To make an appointment or find out more about the Improving the Cancer Journey service call 01382 433340 or email email@example.com