We had a very interesting meeting and discussion on Tuesday evening and we would just like to say a huge thank you to the ladies who attended and made our 2 guests – Jane Deary and Marianne Oswell – feel very welcome.
Jane Deary from the NHS CCG was very appreciative of your openness and willingness to share what, in some cases, is or was, a very traumatic experience. These experiences will help to influence the new Cancer Strategy being drafted for 2020-2015. We have also received some comments via email from ladies who weren’t able to attend on Tuesday, so we will forward these to Jane Deary aswell.
One of the topics that we discussed briefly was the financial pressures that we face(d) whilst having treatment for cancer. Some of these weren’t known to all of the ladies present, so we thought it worth mentioning a couple of things that might be of interest to you, either during treatment or afterwards. Please always do your own research and check out these items first before committing to anything:-
- Contact Macmillan Cancer Support on the telephone to discuss matters of Employment, Pensions, Benefits, Law. They have experienced advisers and several of us have found them to be very helpful. https://www.macmillan.org.uk
- “New Style – Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)” – This could be claimed via DWP once your employer stops paying you Statutory Sick Pay (we think after 28 weeks) and it is based on your National Insurance records prior to your diagnosis (with no consideration as to your current earnings or savings). You will likely need a Doctor’s Sick note / Fit note and there could be other individual factors that may or may not affect your ability to claim this benefit, but if you would like to try, here is the link for the DWP website. Make sure that you state “New Style ESA” as the other ESAs are under the Universal Credit umbrella, which does take your savings into account. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/new-style-employment-and-support-allowance (If you get stuck with any part of this process, Macmillan on the telephone should be able to help you)
- Free Prescriptions card available via your GP which lasts for approximately 5 years.
- Critical Illness Cover – Depending on your type of Life Assurance cover, you may be able to claim against this Critical Illness part of your policy. Some have to be claimed within 6 months from diagnosis and some exclude “In Situ” breast cancer so please do read your Policy carefully.
It was lovely to meet Marianne Oswell on Tuesday evening aswell. Marianne is the new Clinical Nurse Specialist for Metastatic Breast Cancer based at Winchester Hospital, and she has an interest in setting up a new Support Group for her patients. She commented afterwards that some of the open and honest feedback from our members had given her food for thought in the way that she deals with and communicates with her patients. It is really pleasing to hear that our feedback is helping to guide clinicians on the different / best ways to deal with their cancer patients.
We don’t usually have a meeting scheduled for August at Winchester or at Eastleigh (Chandlers Ford), but some of the ladies wanted to meet up next month as usual so if anyone is interested, we have decided to go to the King Rufus Pub in Chandlers Ford on Tuesday 20th August at 7.30pm. Mary and Jackie E will get there early to secure a table. If it’s a nice evening we might sit in the garden, but let’s wait and see what the weather is like. The address is 135 Winchester Road, Chandlers Ford, Hants. SO53 2DU
We will send a reminder nearer the time to get an idea on numbers.
Looking forward to seeing you in August, or if not, we hope you have a lovely summer and we will hopefully see you again in September
Donation to Wessex Cancer Trust: £4.50