39% would like access to a cancer nurse helpline

CancerCover-Thinkstock-2013Around two-fifths (39%) of respondents would like access to a 24/7 cancer nurse helpline, according to research by Axa PPP Healthcare.

Its survey of 1,000 managers also found that 42% of respondents would like their employees to have access to medical appointments that fit around their work commitments.

The research also found:

  • Around half (52%) of respondents would like faster cancer diagnosis for their staff.
  • 18% of respondents do not feel prepared to manage an employee with cancer.
  • More than a fifth (22%) have not considered whether they would like more training for themselves and their colleagues to support staff affected by cancer.
  • Although half (50%) of respondents would encourage employees to take as much time off as they needed for appointments, 9% would encourage them not to let the potential diagnosis interfere with their responsibility to complete their work.
  • 12% expect employees who attend an appointment regarding a potential cancer diagnosis during work hours to be contactable by phone or email.

Sharon Lidstone, head of clinical services at Axa PPP Healthcare, said: “Employers need to be thinking about having policies in place to help guide managers on how best to support employees affected by such a potentially life changing event in a way the individuals are comfortable with.

“Managers are in a difficult situation as it is hard to know exactly how to best support an employee awaiting investigation or diagnosis of a potential cancer symptom or who is actually being treated for the disease. HR professionals and senior management need to communicate best practice to line managers within their business to help them to deal effectively with these situations.

“Everyone faced by cancer needs support and employers can play a crucial role in helping employees to cope with the challenges that it poses.”