UK & World News
Charity: More Help Needed For Cancer Carers
More needs to be done to support people who are working and caring for someone with cancer, says a leading charity.
Macmillan Cancer Support says almost half of carers are also holding down a full-time job.
New research conducted by the organisation found 11% of these provide more than 35 hours of care a week.
It said 49% of those interviewed received no help to look after a loved one suffering from cancer.
And just five percent said they had been handed a Carers' Assessment, which would give them access to practical, emotional and financial support.
Macmillan is trying to raise awareness of the scheme so that more people are able to benefit from it.
Chief executive Ciaran Devane said: "Dealing with the relentless physical and emotional pressures of caring for someone with cancer is hard enough.
"Combining it with a full-time job is extremely difficult and can drive carers to breaking point.
He went on: "To state the obvious, as the number of people living with cancer doubles in the next 20 years from two to four million, the number of carers is also going to increase.
"It's vitally important cancer carers are fully supported both at home and at work to enable them to cope with the tough demands of their role.
"If they are left to struggle on their own it will cost carers their health and even their job. It will also put a significant strain on the NHS."
A Department of Health spokesman said: "We are looking at what can be done to give carers a life outside of care and working. Earlier this year we met with employers and business to see how we could do this.
"We are extending the right to request flexible working to all employees. This will enable all workers to request changes to the way they work and create a better balance between the demands of work and other responsibilities, in particular for carers."