Posted: Fri 17th Mar 2023

Alyn & Deeside MP and charity seek more support for Leukaemia patients amid rising costs

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

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Mark Tami MP has joined forces with Leukaemia Care, the UK’s leading leukaemia charity, to call on the UK Government to provide more support for leukaemia patients with the rising cost of living. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Labour MP for Alyn and Deeside, on behalf of Leukaemia Care, presented a public petition to the House of Commons on Tuesday 14 March calling on the UK Government to provide the targeted support necessary to keep leukaemia patients and their families financially afloat during the cost of living crisis. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

As well as this, Leukaemia Care delivered a letter to Downing Street and in Scotland, they sent a letter to the First Minister and met with Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) at Holyrood. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

As Leukaemia Care’s #LeukaemiaLevy campaign has highlighted, leukaemia patients often face a significant decrease in income and an increase in costs following diagnosis, both of which can put a strain on the finances of patients and their families. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

More than ¼ of leukaemia patients lose up to 60% of their monthly income and 89% report an increase in costs, according to Leukaemia Care. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Acute leukaemias have high rates of emergency diagnosis and often require immediate treatment meaning many patients have to reduce their working hours or quit their jobs to start intensive treatments right away. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

On top of this loss of income, leukaemia patients often face an increase in costs incurred by hospital travel and energy bills. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Patients having to travel for regular hospital appointments have to face costs relating to parking, fuel, food and hotel stays. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Patients undergoing chemotherapy also need to ensure their homes are warm during treatment as they can be especially susceptible to the cold. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The petition presented to the House of Commons called for a national hospital travel fund, a continued level of support provided by the Energy Price Guarantee until after April 2023 and wider additional financial support such as discounts and tariffs on bills. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The Chancellor has since announced in his Spring Budget that the current support provided by the Energy Price Guarantee will be extended until the end of June 2023. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Mark Tami MP said:  “Leukaemia can be a devastating diagnosis for patients and their families. It’s simply wrong that so many leukaemia patients have to face this financial burden on top of the physical and emotional toll of the disease as it is.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“I want to thank charities like Leukaemia Care for raising this issue and for the vital work they do to support patients and their loved ones. I was therefore pleased to present the petition on their behalf and will continue to support calls for further action.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

On their campaign, Leukaemia Care’s CEO, Zack Pemberton-Whiteley commented: ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

“This cannot wait, the economic situation in the UK may improve, but without further support from the Government those affected by a leukaemia diagnosis will continue to be impacted by financial challenges long after the cost-of-living crisis ends.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

  ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

[Photo shows Mark Tami MP with Leukaemia Care CEO Zack Pemberton-Whiteley (blue tie) and Leukaemia Care volunteers.] ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​


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