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Help to empower cancer patients at work - 12-01-2012
A work management tool designed by Loughborough University experts to empower people living with and beyond cancer has been unveiled by Macmillan Cancer Support.

Work it out: the essential questions to ask about work, was developed by researchers in Loughborough’s School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences in conjunction with Affinity Health at Work Consultancies and Macmillan Cancer Support.

Every year over 726,000 people of working age in the UK are living with a cancer diagnosis. Many people with cancer do not receive the information, advice or rehabilitation support they need to help them return to work and the majority will suffer a loss of income or experience higher costs as a result.

The Work it out tool outlines important questions to ask at four key stages: initial work issues and absence from work, preparing to return to work, returning to work, and not returning to work, and shows users who can provide the answers at different steps of their cancer journey.

Loughborough’s researchers have developed the tool over nine months, working closely with healthcare professionals, Jobcentre Plus advisors, Union representatives and those living with and beyond cancer to identify pressing work issues and questions.

Researcher Dr Katryna Kalawsky explains:

“Work it out is designed to empower those living with and beyond cancer to manage work-related issues. It provides essential questions to help them get the most from interactions with healthcare professionals, employers, HR professionals and benefits advisers.

“By identifying the questions they need to ask in relation to work, we hope to give them back control, increase employers’ awareness of their needs and minimise financial hardship.”

The research forms part of the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative, a Macmillan Cancer Support, Department of Health and NHS programme to improve the ongoing support and services for those living with and beyond cancer.

Work it out is available to those affected by cancer via the Macmillan website as well as through Macmillan nurses supporting cancer patients.

The Loughborough University research team included Dr Kalawsky, Dr Fehmidah Munir and Dr Deborah Wallis.

Work it out is available online via the Abeceder web link:
Macmillan Cancer Support

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