‘NI Cancer Carers need more support’ – Ritchie

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Wednesday, October 5th, 2016
SDLP MP for South Down Margaret Ritchie has called on the Secretary of State for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, to work with the Health Minister, Michelle O’Neill, to review and improve the support in place for cancer carers in Northern Ireland. Margaret RitchieSpeaking after the publication of Macmillian’s report, ‘Under Pressure – The Growing Strain on Cancer Carers’, Ritchie said, “The number of people caring for a friend or relative with cancer has risen from 1.1 million in 2011 to almost 1.5 million in 2016. “A number of these carers are in Northern Ireland. More of these carers are more likely to be older people and to be experiencing health problems of their own. Caring for someone with cancer can be enormously challenging and complex but carers too often go unrecognised. “They see the care they give as a duty but the lack of support they receive actually causes them an immense amount of stress and financial strain and can actually detrimentally impact on their own physical and mental well-being,” she continued.
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September 2016“I am calling on the Secretary of State for Health to work with his counterpart in the Northern Ireland Executive to improve support for cancer carers. A vital aspect of this will involve reviewing the implementation of the NHS Continuing Healthcare programme in Northern Ireland, which lacks the clear guidance England, Scotland and Wales has. Ritchie added, “This could significantly help carers by reducing their strain and improving the support available to them.”
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