Live talk available at the below date and time. The Electrical Industries Charity presents a wellbeing series of inspirational speakers and leading experts in mental health, law, and reliance. The series is uplifting and educational on a range of issues impacting our industry. Format of the series will be a 50-minute virtual presentation followed by 10 minutes of questions and answers facilitated by the Charity CEO, Tessa Ogle.
Former GP and medical expert, Dame Barbara Hakin is a much respected technology speaker known for her roles in the management and governance of NHS England. Formerly Chief Executive of the East Midlands Strategic Health Authority, Barbara is a much sought after keynote speaker whose experience in both practical medicine and the National Health Service have afforded her a deep insight in the British medical system.
Formerly a General Practitioner in Bradford, Yorkshire Dr Dame Barbara Ann Hakin currently works as a medical and technology speaker and stands as Deputy Chief Executive of NHS England. She has been responsible for a number of innovative moves toward performance targeted medical practice and patient management and her decisions as an advisor and medical technology speaker have been met with both applause and uncertainty by those on various sides of the political landscape. She has appeared as a keynote speaker at a variety of medical and after dinner speaker events and is frequently called upon to give comment and opinions to the press.
Dubbed 'the most powerful woman in the NHS', Barbara has been working as a medical expert and technology speaker for many years and her advice and opinions are well respected by those practicing medicine and those working in medical governance. Dr Hakin was made a Dame for her services to the British Medical Industry and work as a medical technology speaker in the Queen’s 2009 Birthday Honours.
This month we focus on the important topic of Men’s Health. This is particularly important for our industry as 85% of the employees are men. Globally, men die on average six years earlier than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable. It doesn’t have to be that way; we can all take action to live healthier, happier and longer lives. Generally, men are more reluctant to visit medical centres and or doctors and studies have proven women are 100% more likely to visit the doctors. Sometimes masculinity can drive riskier behaviour such as dangerous driving and going that little bit further can have repercussions on our health. We explore the most prevalent male cancers, men's mental health and common health issues men face within the industry.
Terminal cancer is cancer which cannot be cured and isn’t responding to treatment and that the person is likely to die from. Any kind of cancer can become terminal. When someone has terminal cancer, the emphasis of treatment or care will be on managing the person’s symptoms and making sure they have a good quality of life.
Some people find it difficult when they’ve been having cancer treatment to learn that it’s not working. The person’s treatment may be stopped, and the focus can change from trying to cure the illness to managing the symptoms. Talking to a doctor or member of the palliative care team may help, as they will be able to advise on finding the right treatment, care and emotional support.
Terminal cancer is different to advanced cancer. Although advanced cancer is also incurable, people with advanced cancer may still have treatments which could help to prolong their life. They can also receive palliative care alongside their treatment.
You might not experience all of these feelings and, if you do, they'll not necessarily come in any particular order. Whatever you feel, you do not have to go through it alone.
November is Men’s Health Awareness Month, which focuses on raising awareness of men’s cancer and other health issues. There are around 375,000 new cancer cases in the UK every year, which equates to someone getting diagnosed every two minutes. Of these, 51% relate to men. Stephen worked as a quality manager for an energy company. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2015 and underwent surgery that saw him take time off work for six months. As Stephen was the sole breadwinner for his wife and two children, financial pressure was felt by all.
Stephen made a full recovery from his surgery and tests came back clear for five years. Things were looking positive. But in May 2021, Stephen got the heart-breaking news that the cancer had come back. It had spread to his lungs and liver and was classed as terminal.
Terminal cancer is cancer that cannot be cured. It isn’t responding to treatment, meaning the emphasis is on managing the person’s symptoms through palliative care, and making sure they have a good quality of life. Stephen is now undergoing palliative chemotherapy treatment, designed to reduce and manage the cancer. As a large part of Stephen’s working day was spent driving with a long commute to work, the symptoms of the cancer and side effects of treatment now prevent him from working at all. His fiancé doesn’t drive so they have relied on taxi services for journeys, including hospital appointments and getting the children to and from school. This is a huge financial burden given Stephen stopped working.
With the terminal diagnosis, Stephen sought advice from other professionals and explored all avenues to improve both the length and quality of his life. He felt compelled to do everything he could to alter the course of his diagnosis, having a consultation with a medical practitioner and beginning a course of supplements alongside a strict keto diet. The downside is that the supplements and change in diet come at a price. With his drop in wage and no other source of income, Stephen was at a crossroads. Stephen’s Macmillan Cancer Support worker contacted the EIC explaining Stephen’s level of need and his wishes to complete the supplement course but lack of finance to do so. The EIC supported Stephen with the first course, seeing him through to the end of 2021.
In autumn 2021, Stephen contacted the EIC to say his tumour had stopped growing and that he was in great spirits. This is something he didn’t believe possible just a few months ago. The EIC have committed to continuing their help to Stephen and his family through the provision of treatment in form of the supplements and emotional support. The help Stephen is able to access is due to the support of the EIC and the powerLottery. It means he’s getting the support needed to continue alternative treatment and ensure his family are emotionally supported. Without powerLottery, the EIC would not be able to offer support to people like Stephen. That’s why we need you to become a powerLottery player to help EIC to continue supporting our industry members.
powerLottery is the only lottery made for our industry by our industry. It gives players 40 chances to win cash prizes ranging from £50 to £1,000 every single month. A £10,000 draw bi-yearly gives you even more opportunity to win BIG. A new car, a holiday in the sun, a kitchen re-fit or a brand-new wardrobe… Think of all the different ways you could spend £10,000.
To sign up to play the powerLottery today, click here: https://www.electricalcharity.org/lottery
Hearing that your illness cannot be cured can be a frightening experience. Many people will be unable to take everything in. If you're alone in the consultation, ask if you can bring a relative or friend in to hear everything the doctor has to say. You may need to ask for a follow-up appointment so that someone can be with you. Ask the doctor what support is available to you. They may refer you for additional specialist palliative care alongside the care you're already receiving. A GP will also know of any local sources of support. Get in touch with a GP to explain what's happened and ask what help is available near you.
This may include:
Find someone to talk to:
Not everyone wants to talk about what they're going through. However, a terminal (sometimes called life-limiting) diagnosis can bring up worries and fears, and it can help to talk about these so they do not start to feel impossible to deal with.
Family, friends and health professionals
You might want to talk to your partner, family, or friends, or to a doctor, nurse, counsellor, or religious minister. People close to you will be dealing with their own feelings about your diagnosis. If you or they are finding it hard to talk about it, you might want to talk to someone who is not as close to you, like a counsellor.
Your doctor or nurse can help you find a counsellor. You can also search online to find services in your area. It can be useful to have someone to talk to at night-time if you cannot sleep. Make sure there's someone you can ring (a friend, relative or the Samaritans), but also recognise that you do not have to lie in the dark and try to sleep. You can turn on the light and do something else. The Electrical Industries Charity can also support you during this journey. Please contact the Charity welfare team on 0800 652 1618.
Questions and worries about your future
Knowing that you have a life-limiting condition leaves you living with uncertainty. You'll probably have questions with no definite answers, such as:
Not knowing exactly what's going to happen to you can feel overwhelming and upsetting. It's normal to feel like this, and it might be helpful to talk with others who are in a similar situation, and hear how they cope with these feelings. Ask your doctor or nurse about local support groups for people who are living with a life-limiting illness, or for people who have the same condition as you. Many specialist charities offer support through local groups, email contact, phone lines and web forums. For example, Marie Curie has an online community.
healthtalk.org has videos and written interviews of people talking about their feelings when told they had a life-limiting illness and their emotions in the following weeks and months.
They also have videos of people reflecting on the positive aspects of knowing they're approaching the end of life and talking about how their religion, faith or philosophy helps them.
If you think you're depressed:
It's normal to feel shock, sadness, anger and helplessness. But for some people, the feeling they're unable to cope with their situation does not go away, and they feel too low to be able to do any of the things they want to. If this happens to you and these feelings persist, it may be helpful to talk to a doctor. Medicine can help, and counselling or cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) can make a difference to how you're coping.
You might be a carer if you're looking after a family member or friend who's ill, has a disability or mental health problem. Everyone's experience of caring is different. Some people find that they become a carer gradually over time, while for others it happens suddenly. Caring can be challenging and it's OK if you decide at any point you want a break or need to stop. For many people, looking after a family member or friend who has a terminal illness at home is “just something they do”. They don’t think of themselves as a carer. But recognising your role as a carer can help you access support and financial help from the government, NHS and other organisations who may describe you in this way.
Most carers are unpaid, but some may receive a benefit called carer’s allowance from the government.
What do carers do?
Carers are often good at multitasking and carry out a range of tasks in person or remotely. Carers can also provide support for the person even if they don’t live near them. Caring for someone remotely can be just as challenging as caring for them in person.
You may find that you help with some or all the following:
Your needs as a carer:
Carers often focus their attention and energy on the person they care for and put their own health and wellbeing last. But it’s important to think about what you can do without burning out or making yourself ill.
The realities of being a carer can sometimes be difficult and you may want to consider:
You’re entitled to a carer’s needs assessment from your local social care services if you live in England, Wales or Northern Ireland. In Scotland, you can have an adult carer support plan or young carers statement. This isn’t to assess how good you are at caring, but to ask you about your needs and how being a carer impacts your life.
You may find that you’re entitled to:
Find out how to apply for a carer’s assessment: https://mariecurie.org.uk/help/support/being-there/support-carers/assessments
See if you’re eligible for Carer’s Allowance: https://www.mariecurie.org.uk/help/support/benefits-entitlements/carers/carers-allowance
When someone has a terminal illness and is and living at home, their GP has overall responsibility for their medical care. They’ll coordinate district nurses and other professionals involved in their care. They are your first point of contact if you have questions and need support or assistance.
Who else can help:
Caring can include all kinds of challenges, and it can help to think who else in your circle of family and friends might be able to support you. Sometimes carers get help from their extended family, friends, and even neighbours or volunteers. Coordinating tasks can be time-consuming, so you may want to think about simple ways to keep in touch with your support network and delegate things.
You could coordinate this using:
You might want to meet other people who are in a similar situation through local networks and online forums, such as:
Caring while working:
Changing your hours or work pattern or working from home may make your caring role easier. You have the legal right to ask to work flexibly if you’ve worked for the same employer for 26 weeks. Some carers find that they must reduce their working hours or even stop working. If you do need to give up your job, you might be eligible for benefits such as income support or carer’s allowance. Use our benefits calculator to see if you’re entitled to benefits. https://mariecurie.entitledto.co.uk/home/start?_ga=2.33210422.90052633.1601896956-219633238.1593764109
What’s it like to care for someone at the end of life?
Caring for someone with a terminal illness can be physically and emotionally demanding. You may find that your relationship changes with the person you care for. Some people say it changes their identity. They no longer feel like the person’s partner, family member, or friend. But it can also be a rewarding experience and a time of great closeness. You may experience a much deeper relationship with the person, and you may find it comforting to be able to make their final years, months or days as comfortable as possible.
Marie Curie Support Line
Support Line on 0800 090 2309
Speak with other people in similar situations on our online community
Our Support Line is open 8am – 6pm Monday to Friday and 11am – 5pm on Saturday. On bank holidays we're open 10am – 4pm.
As you near the end of your life, you or your family may have concerns about your finances. Financial help is available. You can sometimes access it at short notice.
As you near the end of your life, you or your family may have concerns about:
Financial help is available. You can sometimes access it at short notice. It is likely that you will be able to get benefits in the last months of your life to help with your care. You may also be able to get free prescriptions. Some charities and other organisations provide grants to help with costs.
Most people who need care towards the end of their lives qualify for disability benefits. These include:
Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
Attendance Allowance (AA), if they are at or above State Pension age.
These benefits are not means-tested. This means the amount of money you have does not affect whether you can get the benefit.
You can apply for these benefits using a fast-track process if:
Under special rules, you can also apply for:
You can also call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 to speak to one of our welfare rights advisers. They can give you advice about claiming benefits and help you fill in claim forms. Depending on where you live, you may be able to visit a local Macmillan welfare adviser.
You can also get more information and apply for certain benefits by visiting:
gov.uk if you live in England, Scotland or Wales
nidirect.gov.uk if you live in Northern Ireland.
Prescriptions are free in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. In England, people with cancer and some long-term conditions can also get free prescriptions. You need to apply for an exemption certificate by collecting an FP92A form from your GP surgery. There may be other things to sort out, such as bank accounts and pensions.
Your bank accounts will be frozen when you die. This means money can only be taken out if the person carrying out the instructions in your will transfers it. It is their job to tell the bank that you have died. If you have a joint bank account with another person such as a partner, any money left in the account belongs to them. But in Scotland, any money you put into a joint account still belongs to you when you die. It then becomes part of your estate.
You can nominate someone as your beneficiary using a legal nomination form provided by your pension scheme. This means that whatever is left in your pension when you die may pass directly to them. This depends on the terms and conditions of your pension scheme. Make sure your pension provider has up-to-date details of your beneficiary. If you have more than one pension, tell all your providers.
Things which are good to know about your pension:
If you die before taking any of your pension, your loved ones could get some money. People who get money from your pension after you die are called your beneficiaries. You can usually tell your pension provider who you want your beneficiaries to be. Or your beneficiaries may automatically be the people who depend on you financially (your dependants).
The money may be paid as one or more lump sums. In some cases, these payments may be tax free:
If you die before you are aged 75, your beneficiaries can take lump sums tax-free within 2 years of your death. If you die aged 75 or over, your beneficiaries will have to pay Income Tax on the money they get. Make sure your pension provider has up-to-date details of your beneficiaries. If you have more than one pension, let all your providers know. You can do this by completing an expression of wishes or nomination form. You can get these from the provider. You need to do this even if you have already written your wishes in your will.
Defined contribution scheme:
If you have a defined contribution scheme, the value of the lump sum your beneficiaries can get is usually based on the value of the savings you have built up. Sometimes this might just be a refund of the contributions paid in, so it is important to check with the provider. Your beneficiaries may choose to take an income instead, or a combination of both.
Defined benefit scheme:
If you have a defined benefit scheme, a lump sum may be paid to your beneficiaries if you die before taking your pension. It is important to check with the individual scheme how much would be paid. If you die after starting to take your pension out. After you die, money that you took as lump sums but did not spend becomes part of your estate. Your beneficiaries inherit it, but they may have to pay Inheritance Tax on it.
Defined contribution scheme:
Money left in your pension
If you die with money left in your pension, your beneficiaries could take it as a lump sum or as an additional income. Check the rules of the scheme. If they qualify, they will:
An annuity is a type of financial product. You get a regular income in exchange for your pension savings.
If you bought an annuity, your beneficiaries may continue getting payments after you die. This depends on:
Flexi-access drawdown is a type of financial product. You invest your pension savings in a fund and have flexible options for taking money out. If you chose flexi-access drawdown, the money can continue being paid out after you die. It goes to anyone you name as a beneficiary.
They can also choose to withdraw the money as an income. If you have flexi-access drawdown, or an annuity that keeps paying out to people when you die, they will:
Defined benefit scheme
If you are taking a defined benefit scheme pension, it is possible for your dependants to get part of your pension after your death. Your dependants may include your husband, wife, civil partner or children. Some schemes also offer dependants’ pensions to non-married partners. To make sure this happens, you may need to complete a form before your death.
Your dependants must meet the scheme’s conditions. The amount they get depends on the rules of the scheme. This money is not usually paid as a lump sum. It is taxed as income.
Some defined benefit schemes also offer a guarantee for the first 5 to 10 years after the money starts being paid. This means the money is paid for the whole guarantee period, even if you die. It is important to check the benefits available with the individual scheme.
One of the keys to a better version of you, mentally and physically, is sleeping well. We want all of our industry members to sleep as well as they can that’s why EIC have partnered with Sleepstation. Sleepstation is a clinically validated sleep improvement programme that can help you learn how to control and optimise your sleep to get the best sleep possible. Designed by experts and backed by science, the online service is proven to combat even the most severe insomnia. Their team will help you identify the underlying causes of your sleep problem and provide the personal support and guidance needed to improve your sleep. Sleepstation delivers remote care with a personal touch and that's what makes it so effective. Therapeutic support through Sleepstation is available to those in need and meeting our charity eligibility criteria.