Macmillan Cancer Support and Big Health have formed a new partnership which will see newly diagnosed cancer patients gain free access to digital mental health therapy.

The partnership will provide patients newly diagnosed with cancer in England, Wales and Northern Ireland free access to Big Health’s products. They are Sleepio for insomnia and Daylight for help with anxiety to manage their mental health needs.

Providing access to this cohort of patients could help reduce NHS waiting lists for face-to-face therapy. It also expands on Big Health’s existing partnership with NHS Scotland which provides all adults in Scotland with access to the apps.

Both apps provide personalised, round-the-clock accessible treatment for insomnia and anxiety using evidence-based cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).

Hannah Redmond, director of commercial partnerships and innovation at Macmillan Cancer Support, said: “We know that many people struggle with sleep, worry and anxiety as a result of their cancer diagnosis, so providing this group with free access to Sleepio and Daylight means they can benefit from vital mental health support when they need it most.”

Recently Sleepio secured NICE approval, making it the first-ever digital therapeutics to do so.

Heather Cook, UK director for Big Health, said: “Ensuring access for cancer patients to gold standard digital therapeutics, such as Daylight and Sleepio, can help significantly to address their mental health needs, which in turn could have a real impact on quality of life.

“Clinically evidenced digital therapeutics can help to address the current backlog in mental health care, opening up greater access to effective round-the-clock care and reducing the pressures on face-to-face services, while providing proven tools for people to manage their mental health outside of a clinical setting, where and when they need to.”