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Government pledges £1.6m for Macmillan's National Cancer Survivorship Initiative

Government pledges £1.6m for Macmillan's National Cancer Survivorship Initiative

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH News Release issued by COI News Distribution Service on

The Department of Health is to provide £1.6 million to Macmillan to improve services and support for those living with and beyond cancer, Health Minister, Ann Keen announced today.

The funding will be used to:

* pilot different ways for the NHS and Local Authorities to look after people when they have finished their initial cancer treatment;
* provide healthcare professionals with information and training to support people following cancer treatment; and
* run courses to help people living with cancer to look after their own lives, with advice on finances and returning to work

Health Minister Ann Keen said,

"This funding will make a real difference to people who have survived cancer by helping to ensure that they get the expert care and support they need.

"The impact of cancer does not end after treatment. Cancer survivors have a range of needs - physical, psychological and social - and, through the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative, we are working to ensure that they can lead as healthy and active a life as possible, for as long as possible."

Ciaran Devane, Chief Executive of Macmillan Cancer Support, said,

"This grant will help make a big difference to the two million people living with cancer. The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative supports people to get their lives back on track and ensures they do not feel abandoned after finishing their initial treatment.

"It will enable people to get a full assessment of their needs, advice about diet and exercise and information on signs and symptoms that might signal a recurrence of their cancer or be long-term effects of treatment."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

1. The funding will support the development of the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative, a partnership between the Department of Health and Macmillan Cancer Support, co-chaired by the National Cancer Director, Professor Mike Richards, and the Chief Executive of Macmillan, Mr Ciaran Devane.

2. The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative (NCSI), formally launched in September 2008, is a key initiative of the Cancer Reform Strategy (2007).

3. The Department of Health is to provide £1.6 million in 2009/10 to the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative.

4. Cancer mortality in people under 75 has fallen by over 18% between 1996 and 2007. We are on course to meet our target of a reduction of at least 20% in cancer deaths in people under 75 by 2010.

5. From 1 April 2009, everyone undergoing treatment for cancer, the effects of cancer, or the effects of cancer treatment have been exempt from NHS prescription charges.

6. Currently 1.63 million people in England and 2 million across the UK as a whole, have had cancer. This number is likely to grow by over 3% per annum, reflecting the increasing incidence of cancer and better survival rates.

7. The Cancer Reform Strategy was published on 3 December 2007. It sets out plans to further improve and develop cancer services across England over the next five to ten years. The Strategy includes measures to improve cancer prevention, speed up the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, reduce inequalities, improve the experience of people living with and beyond cancer, ensure care is delivered in the most appropriate settings and ensure patients can access effective new treatments quickly.

8. We have seen changes and significant improvements in cancer services over the past 10 years and especially since the publication of the NHS Cancer Plan in 2000. Achievements have included:

* Extending breast screening to women aged up to 70.
* Rollout of the bowel cancer screening programme - the first programme to target both men and women.
* Reductions in waiting times for patients with suspected cancer, which have reduced anxiety and delay.
* More cancer specialists - 1,879 extra consultants since 1997.
* The introduction of smoke-free legislation.

9. Seven National Cancer Survivorship Initiative workstreams have been established to assist the development of models of care which meet survivors' needs and are deliverable given constraints on the cancer workforce and NHS, social care and other budgets.

10. Each workstream is focussing on either a stage in the 'survivorship pathway' or a cross cutting theme, The workstreams and chairs are:

* assessment and care planning - Ciaran Devane, CE, Macmillan
* managing active and advanced disease - Roger Wilson, Sarcoma UK
* late effects of cancer and its treatment - Jane Maher, Chief Medical Officer, Macmillan
* survivors of childhood and young people's cancers - Carole Easton CE, CLIC Sargent Cancer Care for Children
* work and finance - Barbara Wilson, Co-Founder, Working with Cancer
* self-care and self-management - Jessica Corner, Chief Clinician, Macmillan
* research - John Neate, The Prostate Cancer Charity

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