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Financial advisors for those with cancer to be based at hospital

Generic close up of person paying by credit card. Picture: YakobchukOlena/Getty Images/iStockphoto

Generic close up of person paying by credit card. Picture: YakobchukOlena/Getty Images/iStockphoto

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Macmillan benefits advisers will take up position at the Colney Centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) every Friday from 1pm to 4pm to help people affected by cancer cope with money worries.

The service, which covers Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire, is the result of a long-standing partnership with Suffolk County Council and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Patients visiting the hospital can now access a range of advice on issues such as debt, housing, and employment, which complement the sessions being run by the Big C centre.

Macmillan’s research has found that four in five (83pc) people with cancer are on average £570 a month worse off because of their diagnosis.

Cathy Cunningham-Elliott, Macmillan benefit advice service manager, said: “People affected by cancer are often also affected financially so we look at ways to support them. We look at their whole situation – for example, they may have to stop work, or reduce their hours, or be entitled to travel or welfare benefits.

“Launching the drop-in service at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Trust means we can meet people face-to- face and proactively seek patients out who might benefit from our services.

“We offer free, confidential advice to patients, carers and family members about benefits and charitable grants that may be available. If people need further financial advice - on things like debt, employment, budgeting or energy bills - we can refer them to other specialist services that can help.”

Joanna Richardson, lead cancer nurse at NNUH, said: “The new service is a brilliant idea. I saw a patient recently who was worried about finances and I was able to link him up with the Macmillan welfare benefits team.”

For more support and information about the Macmillan benefits service call 0345 300 3692 for more information or email MacmillanBenefitsAdviceService@suffolk.gcsx.gov.uk

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