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Scrap ‘back to work’ test plan for cancer patients , says Citizens Advice

7 December 2011

Responding to government plans to force cancer patients undergoing intravenous chemotherapy to take medical tests and face 'back-to-work' interviews, Citizens Advice Chief Executive Gillian Guy said:

“It’s shocking that cancer patients going through gruelling chemotherapy treatment should now be expected to prove they are too ill to work. The additional stress and anxiety this will cause threatens to drastically set back people’s recovery. It’s a brutal body blow at a time when people most need a helping hand, and the government must reject this proposal now.”

About the Citizens Advice partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support:

Macmillan funds 78 Citizens Advice Bureaux to provide advice on welfare benefits to people affected by cancer. Caseworkers advise clients about all benefits they are entitled to and provide help claiming them. They also ensure that they are aware of any available grants which could assist them, and can provide advice on other issues, for example debt, if necessary. Between January 2007 and April 2011 over 38,000 clients were helped, receiving income gain of over £77 million, with £1.1m of debt written off.

Notes to editors:

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local bureaux, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential, and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To find your local bureau in England and Wales, visit citizensadvice.org.uk. You can also get advice online at adviceguide.org.uk
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers
  5. Citizens Advice Bureaux in England and Wales advised 2.3 million clients on 5.4 million problems from October 2013 to September 2014. For full 2013/2014  service statistics see our quarterly publication Advice trends
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 3,000 service outlets across England and Wales.