Macmillan Cancer Support is investing £1.1m and is working in partnership with Fife Health & Social Care Partnership to introduce an innovative support programme for people affected by cancer.
Action under the programme will see a vast array of community partners such as housing, voluntary agencies, health, Trusts and financial support agencies, as well as health and social care services, working together to support people with the non-medical concerns that come with a cancer diagnosis.
These can include fears around how they are going to cope financially, worries around employment or emotional stress for both themselves and the impact the diagnosis will have on their family and friends.
Between 2011 and 2015 there were 11,239 cancers diagnosed in Fife and this number is expected to grow.
When it comes to coping with the non-medical effects of the illness, a recent survey carried out by the People’s Panel on behalf of Macmillan and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership revealed that many people don’t know where to go with the top three concerns being concern for family, side effects (of treatment) and treatment.
The new partnership initiative will be developed with people, their families as well as health and social care professionals and many others over the coming months to help address this.
Julie Paterson, divisional general manager, Fife Health and Social Care Partnership, said: “From the point of cancer diagnosis, we want to make knowing where to go for practical and emotional support easier.
“Working with Macmillan and all our partners across Fife, the aim is to improve the communication and ways of working between local support groups, charities, council services, GPs and many, many others.
“Together we can be much more proactive in helping people deal with their worries such as housing or financial concerns as well as respond to their emotional and wellbeing needs by connecting them with local support services or groups, whatever matters most for each person.
“It is early days but we will keep people informed as the plans for this exciting new approach in Fife develops.”
Janice Preston, Macmillan’s head of services in Scotland, 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. “