Being diagnosed with cancer can end up being an expensive experience, as well as being a distressing one. It means additional costs – or loss of earnings – for victims that can add up to around £570 a month.
This extra cost includes increased energy bills because patients need to be kept warm, changes in food and clothing requirements and being unable to work because of treatment.
So it’s good news that Nationwide Building Society has tied with charity Macmillan to launch a support service for people affected by cancer. It will give patients a range of aid with their finances, from helping them manage their current account to their mortgage payments.
Nationwide member, Mandy Connor, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, said: “My diagnosis meant taking time off work for treatment and recovery, and that brought with it changes to my income I wasn’t prepared for. As a result I was spending as much time worrying about my financial situation as my health.
“I was put in contact with the new Specialist Support Service who were friendly and fully understood my situation, offering to monitor my current account income and outgoings to ensure I didn’t fall behind on bills and payments. They cancelled overdraft fees and would keep an eye on payments so I didn’t need to.
“We now speak regularly to check how things are going and it’s a huge help at a difficult time. Rather than worrying about my money, I can focus on getting better and getting back to work.”
Lynda Thomas, chief executive at Macmillan, said: “The banking industry has a vital role to play in helping to minimise the financial impact of cancer yet the majority of people with cancer report they are not receiving the help and support they need. The whole industry must come together and adopt these solutions so that no one living with cancer faces financial worries alone.”
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