Care charity hires WS in bid to boost specialist funding

Marie Curie Cancer Care has hired Weber Shandwick for a campaign aimed at helping cancer patients choose where they die.

The campaign is set to launch in September and will target doctors, primary care trusts, strategic health authorities and politicians, in particular members of the parliamentary health select committee.

The general public will also be targeted to 'open up the debate surrounding dying', according to WS seinior consultant Allona Grunberg, who is working on the account.

WS European public affairs chairman Wilf Weeks, who heads the campaign, said the majority of those with terminal cancer want to die at home but are prevented from doing so due to lack of resources for home care.

He said: 'Seventy five per cent of people dying of cancer would like to die at home yet at present only a quarter of them do. This cannot be right in the 21st century.'

It is hoped the campaign will boost donations from the general public and increase funding from Government to pay for more Marie Curie cancer specialist nurses.

Grunberg added that the aim was not just to boost funds but also to see how the charity can work more closely with Government and the NHS to provide better home care.

The charity currently has 3,000 nurses and gains around £13.8m in Government funds.

The agency team reports to the charity's director of PR and marketing Chris Dainty.

Dainty said: 'Everything we do must be based upon improving the care and quality of life for cancer patients. The campaign will be tested against this criteria at every stage.'

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