Hartlepool hospice’s funding concerns as one in two people expected to get cancer

Hartlepool and District Hospice chief executive Tracy Woodall.
Hartlepool and District Hospice chief executive Tracy Woodall.

HOSPICE chiefs say they can with an increase in patients as new figures predict that half of people will develop cancer at some point in their lives.

The latest forecast from Cancer Research UK says that the UK faces a “crisis” if the NHS does not plan ahead.

Bosses at Hartlepool and District Hospice say they have no concerns about meeting the needs of the town, but do worry about funding.

Chief executive Tracy Woodall, said: “These statistics have been in the public for about a year and are common sense when you look at demographic data relating to a growing older population.

“As far as the hospice is concerned, we have no concerns about being able to meet the needs of our population as the range of services we provide enables choice of how and where people are cared for. Our only concern is having the funding to be able to respond to those needs. Developing cancer does not necessarily mean people will die from those cancers and many people survive for years after receiving treatment; this in itself brings about complexities and the requirement for non-inpatient services such as counselling and psychological support both for the patient and their families.

“Surviving cancer can leave a patient feeling vulnerable, confused and frightened about what their future will be like and if the cancer will return and this can impact on their daily living.

“Services must be developed around the individual needs of the patient and their family, each one is unique, not everyone wants or needs the same thing. The hospice like other providers must work in partnership to deliver the most patient centred, cost effective care to ensure our community is supported.

“Incidences of cancer in Hartlepool and East Durham are high compared to the national average and the hospice is able to respond to these demands because of the huge community support.”

The new figure, which replaces the previous of one in three, is the most accurate forecast to date from Cancer Research UK and is published in the British Journal of Cancer. The charity said it highlights the urgent need to bolster public health and NHS cancer services so they can cope with a growing and ageing population and the looming demands for better diagnostics, treatments and earlier diagnosis.

Prevention must also play a role in the effort required to reduce the impact of the disease in coming decades, the charity said.

The UK’s cancer survival has doubled over the last 40 years and around half of patients now survive the disease for more than 10 years.