Young cancer patients turned away as financial hardship bites

September 29, 2020
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Cancer charities offering a lifeline to increasing numbers of vulnerable children and young people are having to turn them away as the true impact of coronavirus is felt across the sector.

Survey of children and young people’s cancer charities finds:

  • Black hole in lost income as £45m lost across surveyed members
  • Vital support services scaled back or stopped, as demand jumps by as much as 75%
  • Fears for long-term impact on charities as 50% report future service delivery issues

A survey conducted by the Children and Young People’s Cancer Coalition – a group of charities that support children and young people with cancer and their families - has revealed that collectively, their income has plummeted by as much as 60%. This has led to peer-to-peer support and advice events, sibling support groups and schemes that allow families to keep in contact during treatment, being scaled back or stopped altogether.

The leaders in children and young people’s cancer care are calling on the Government to prevent these services being lost altogether by providing emergency relief for all, or part, of the £45m they have lost to coronavirus.

Henny Braund, Chief Executive of Anthony Nolan, says: ‘Like many charities, Anthony Nolan is battling through the pandemic on two fronts: the rising demand for our services, coupled with a significant fall in income.

‘Blood cancer patients are classed amongst the most vulnerable to COVID-19, and our Patient Services team have seen requests for help double during this time. In March alone, we helped over 20,000 patients through our new emotional support helpline, Clinical Nurse Specialist clinics, webpages, and forums. While most children have returned to school or study, children and young people affected by blood cancer may be withdrawn from education and advised to shield at any stage. Our guidance and support is needed by patients and their families now, more than ever.'

‘To ensure we can continue to be there for those who need us, we are joining with the Children and Young People’s Cancer Coalition to call on Government to provide emergency relief for cancer charities. The future is uncertain but with the right support, we can make sure cancer patients continue to get the care they need.’