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15 February 2012 | PR 12/29

New tool helps carers of cancer patients manage work demands

Macmillan Work it out


Loughborough University experts are helping carers of those with cancer manage their work demands through a new resource developed for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Work it out for carers was created as part of the National Cancer Survivorship Initiative and provides information for working carers about managing work and care responsibilities.

The resource – which is available on the Macmillan Cancer Support website www.macmillan.org.uk and in print – covers fundamental medical, work, home and financial questions and includes topics such as managing hospital appointments and visits, flexible working arrangements and leave, and benefit entitlements.

Loughborough’s research team spoke to experienced working carers and reviewed existing literature to identify informational and support needs in order to develop a list of ‘power questions’.

Researcher Dr Katryna Kalawsky explains:

“Because of increased cancer diagnosis, more people than ever are taking on informal carer roles. A carer is typically the partner, child, friend or parent of the individual living with cancer, and they can often feel isolated if they don’t receive the information and support they need.

“The Work it out tool is a valuable signpost for key work-related queries, and has been developed especially for carers to boost their confidence and equip them to deal with any workplace issues they face.”

The tool was developed in conjunction with Affinity Health at Work Consultancies and is a follow-up to the Work it out: the essential questions to ask about work guide for people living with and beyond cancer launched last summer. Almost 10,000 copies of guide have already been distributed across the UK.
The Loughborough University research team included Dr Kalawsky, Dr Fehmidah Munir and Dr Deborah Wallis from the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences.

Work it out is available online via the following link:


The National Cancer Survivorship Initiative is a Macmillan Cancer Support, Department of Health and NHS programme to improve the ongoing support and services for those living with and beyond cancer.


For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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This page was last updated on Wednesday February 15, 2012 15:03