A new service has been launched in Fife to ensure all cancer patients are offered emotional, practical and financial support.
The charity Macmillan Cancer Support and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership are working with other agencies to make sure cancer patients across the area can access all the help they need by making a single phone call.
Fife Macmillan Improving the Cancer Journey Service will see every newly-diagnosed cancer patient in Fife sent a letter offering a meeting with a dedicated support worker.
The worker will then help the patient access a wide range of support, from benefits advice and emotional aid to help at home or with other practical needs. Anyone currently living with cancer can also access the service by calling the team to arrange an appointment.
Macmillan Cancer Support has invested £1.1 million in the project.
Fife has a higher than average incidence of all main cancers. There are 13,500 people living with cancer in Fife and this is expected to grow to more than 24,000 by 2030.
While advances in treatment mean more people than ever are surviving cancer, it also means people with the disease are living longer, in many cases with long-term health conditions.
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.
“This new service should make sure everyone in Fife with cancer has someone to call on for help, no matter what they need. We hope this service will transform cancer support in Fife.
“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 are able to make a huge difference to the lives of people affected by cancer in Fife.”
Michael Kellet, director of Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, added: “This new service will make a huge difference for those diagnosed with cancer and their family and friends.
“Getting information and advice on the things we take for granted will help support people to deal with their illness.”
The project is open to everyone aged 16 and over living with cancer regardless of their cancer type or where they live in Fife. To find out more contact 01592 578 076 or Improving.CancerJourney@fife.gov.uk.