Macmillan Cruse Project | Cruse Bereavement Care

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0808 808 1677

The Cruse Macmillan project aims to improve bereavement support for people affected by cancer through enabling Cruse staff, in local Area offices in Northern Ireland, to build capacity and engage with their communities to ensure meaningful and timely access to support. The project also aims to understand and raise awareness of information and support which effectively supports individuals before and throughout bereavement. 

Cruse Macmillan Podcast

You can play the podcast via the links below.

  • The second episode of the Macmillan Cruse podcast is a discussion exploring what emotional loneliness is and how it may impact someone pre or post bereavement. Claire Phillips, Macmillan Cruse Project Manager, is joined by Brian Lawlor, Professor of Old Age Psychiatry and Deputy Executive Director of the Global Brain Health Institute (GBHI) at Trinity College Dublin; Cathy Megahey, a member of Macmillan Cruse Project Steering Group, and Corrina Grimes, Atlantic Fellow for Equity in Brain Health, at GBHI, Trinity College Dublin and UCSF and member of Macmillan Cruse PSG.
  • For our first episode we’re joined by Palliative Care Specialist Social Worker, Amanda Mellon, who is based in Macmillan Unit located on Antrim Area Hospital site, supporting families with loved ones at the end of life.  In our conversation, Amanda suggests ways of deal with the emotions that you may face at this difficult time and tips for preparing for a bereavement.

 

Emotional Loneliness Pre and Post Bereavement

This Cruse Macmillan webinar was held on from 29th March 2021 and included discussions with professionals and experts through personal experience of emotional loneliness. 

 

About the project

According to the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry there were 9,446 cancer cases (excluding non-melanoma skin cancer) in 2016, including 4,629 among men and 4,817 among women. Over 55% of all cancer patients survived five years after diagnosis, 20% of patients died within  6  month  of  diagnosis, while over 70%  of  patients  were  alive  one  year after diagnosis. It is vital that those people living with cancer and their loved ones have access to support both pre and post bereavement when they need it most.

Based on a premise to better understand how individuals bereaved by cancer access and utilise bereavement care, Macmillan Cancer Support funded collaborative work with Cruse between 2014- 2017 and the initial partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support in Northern Health and Social Care Trust and Cruse between 2012 -2014. Through the data collected it was identified that 31-33% of people who accessed Cruse services were bereaved through Cancer. 

The key issues arising from the initial partnership have influenced the current phase of work. 

It was also significant within the 2014-2017 figures that males bereaved by cancer are underrepresented. The number of men accessing 1:1 support was less than a half of that of numbers of women (28% male, 72% female). 

The project also recognised that there are a significant number of clients who wait for 2 years and more to access bereavement support. Findings showed approximately 24% of clients were not accessing bereavement support until after two years post-bereavement

The current project is also hoping to make developments in pre-bereavement support. Living Matters, Dying Matters (2010) highlighted the importance of pre-bereavement support by recommending that ‘Mechanisms to identify the education, development and support needs of staff, patients, families, carers and volunteers should be in place to allow person-centred programmes to be developed which promote optimal health and well-being through information, counselling and support skills for people with palliative and end of life care needs’. Also saying ‘Patients who have a clear plan for the future are less likely to feel anxious and uncertain.’

The Macmillan Cruse Project has been funded for 3 years commencing in June 2018.

Project aim 

To improve bereavement support for people affected by cancer through enabling Cruse staff, in local Area offices in Northern Ireland, to build capacity and engage with their communities to ensure meaningful and timely access to support. The project also aims to understand and raise awareness of information and support which effectively supports individuals before and throughout bereavement. 

Objectives

The project will:

  • Continue to raise awareness of Cruse services and promote ways of ensuring that people affected by cancer get timely bereavement support. 
  • Support the recruitment and development of further Cruse volunteers across Northern Ireland
  • Explore and establish effective ways to encourage / enable men to engage with bereavement services. 
  • Identify ways of supporting people affected by cancer pre-bereavement to reduce the impact that bereavement may have on developing poor mental health. It will aim to make it easier for people to navigate towards accessing appropriate bereavement support where necessary. This will include the development and delivery a pre-bereavement model of support.

Cruse volunteers

Macmillan Cruse Project has committed to provide regular training for Cruse volunteers in Understanding Cancer and its Treatments. Through this training the volunteers can develop their knowledge of the impact the cancer journey may have on people caring for someone with a non-curable cancer, which may have effects on the grief that they experience. 

Links

Research

Video presentation of the literature reivew findings, with Dr Anne Fee of Ulster University

Project E-zines

Ezine Winter 2021
Ezine Summer 2020
Ezine Winter 2020

Contact Details

Claire Phillips 
Macmillan Cruse Project Manager
Northern Ireland Regional Office
Tel: 07852 304056
Email:claire.phillips@cruse.org.uk