07/01/2008

Cancer Patients' Money Worries Targeted

Money worries are to be lessened for cancer patients and their carers at a Belfast hospital.

A new project aims at having financial stress lifted off them, through a new information service which helps access to benefits.

The welfare advice service provided by the charity Macmillan Cancer Support has generated nearly £70,000 for cancer patients and carers in the Royal Group of Hospitals during its introductory phase alone.

In the first seven months after the service originally began - in April 2007 - 1,169 welfare issues were presented by a variety of clients.

These included questions over benefits, disability living allowance, housing and legal issues.

The project was officially launched at the Royal this week by the Assembly's Social Development Minister Margaret Ritchie.

She was helping the work of the charity, Macmillan Cancer Support which has teamed up with the Citizens Advice Bureau, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and the Northern Bank to help sufferers and their families.

Heather Monteverde, General Manager for Macmillan Cancer Support Northern Ireland, said: "We are bringing this service to people who really need it, people who in many cases would be unable to access this advice for themselves."

(BMcC)

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