Financial & legal issues after cancer


Contents and links: Making a will | Government advice on wills | Wills in Scotland | Living wills | Make a will online | Travel insurance | Prescription charges | Lifestyle after Cancer - know the facts

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After a diagnosis of cancer, money might not be one of the first things you think about. But having cancer can be expensive in ways you may never have expected, with costs that you hadnít considered. Financial issues can cause anxiety and lack of sleep. 

Your specialist nurse, Macmillan nurse or social services may be able offer financial advice and help direct you to benefits which may help you. Otherwise the links in the table above may provide relevant information 

Prescription charges

When you attend the oncology centre the doctor may prescribe you some tablets to take home. Prescription payment will be required for those tablets by our outpatient pharmacy (patients who are receiving benefits should have an exemption certificate). We are aware that this can become very expensive.  If you are going to need more than one prescription per month, for a period of time, we advise you to obtain an exception form:

A new scheme, announced by the Prime Minister in September last year, from the 1st April abolishes NHS prescription charges for everyone undergoing treatment for cancer, the effects of cancer, or the effects of cancer treatment.

Up to 150,000 patients already diagnosed with cancer are expected to benefit, and may save £100 each year in prescription charges.

All cancer patients are entitled to apply for a 5-year exemption certificate, which will entitle them to all their NHS prescriptions free of charge, not just those relating to cancer. The certificate can be renewed as many times as necessary and will not have to be returned if the patient's condition changes.

Application forms can be collected from GP surgeries and oncology clinics from today and must be countersigned by the patient's GP, hospital doctor or service doctor.

Applications received by 24 March will be processed in time to be used for 1 April. Patients who do not receive for their certificate in time may have any prescription charges they have paid since the 1st April refunded.

If finances are a problem, it may be possible to claim a benefit. You may ask advice from oncology staff, your local Citizens Advice Bureau by phoning the DSS helpline on 0800 882200.

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