‘Recovery package’ call to provide support after cancer treatment

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Cancer patients should be given a “recovery package” to provide emotional and social care support after treatment, the Government announced yesterday.

Patients should receive help to get back to work and a dedicated plan to assist them with their mental and physical needs. As treatments and diagnoses become more sophisticated, more people are surviving cancer. But research has found that many are struggling to get back to normality.

A quarter of cancer patients nationally feel isolated after treatment, and 30 per cent say fears about their cancer spreading are not being addressed, the Department of Health found. A similar number also have concerns that they might not have the same member of staff they can speak to about their condition.

Ministers and Macmillan Cancer Support have developed a care planning process to give cancer survivors the best quality of life possible and called on the Government to take “urgent action” to provide the support they need.

Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said: “In 2010, there were 1.8 million people living with and beyond cancer in England and this is set to rise to 3.4 million by 2030.

“This joint document calls on NHS England and local NHS teams to take urgent action and consider our recommendations when they provide cancer services based on their local community’s needs. Whether it’s specialist help to get back to work or being recommended to do a physical activity group, local NHS teams need to consider providing a new range of care services for cancer survivors.”