04 August 2015

Financial support for cancer sufferers

If you’ve just been diagnosed with cancer, the last thing you want to think about is money. But it’s an uncomfortable truth that for many of those affected, money worries can dominate their lives as much as the practical and emotional consequences of living with cancer.

That's why in April this year we launched a Specialist Support Service to provide support and information to those affected by cancer, so they can better manage their money and make informed decisions about their finances.

Why cancer sufferers need financial support

According to Macmillan Cancer Support, four in five people with cancer will be hit by an additional £570 a month of costs as a result of their diagnosis.

What's more, 95% of those affected by cancer (PDF) won’t contact their financial services providers following a diagnosis for fear of not getting any help or worse, that their diagnosis will have a negative impact on their financial situation.

Why finance providers need to do more

We launched our new service following the publication of a Macmillan report (PDF) last year which called for the banking industry to improve services for people affected by cancer. We’re working with Macmillan on this pilot scheme which is currently providing customers affected by cancer, and their families, the information and support they need when it comes to making decisions about their finances.

Nationwide's Specialist Support Service

The Specialist Support Service consists of a team of Specialist Support Managers, contactable through a dedicated number. Everyone that uses the service receives their own dedicated Specialist Support Manager, who becomes their main point of contact with Nationwide.

Making a difference

The feedback that we have received from our members so far has been very positive. This has also generated very positive feelings around our employees too. Discussing their involvement in the pilot, Catherine, one of our Specialist Support Managers, mentions that, “Knowing the difference we’ve made makes it all worthwhile. I’ve been with Nationwide for 17 years and this is the most rewarding job I’ve done in that time.”

Helping more people in the future

It’s not just those suffering from cancer that could benefit from support and information on managing their finances during difficult times.

Nationwide recently worked with the British Bankers Association, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Stroke Association to produce best practice guidance on how banks can better address the needs of customers with other life-affecting or long-term conditions. And our aim is to roll out similar services for these customers in the future as well. After all, a diagnosis of any type of illness can be devastating for those affected. At least through initiatives like our Specialist Support Service, we are able to provide support if and when it is needed.

If you feel you could benefit from contacting our Specialist Support Service, please call the Specialist Support team on 0800 917 23 93.

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