Cancer patients are put at risk if they are forced to move over to Universal Credit, according to a charity.

The new system, which merges six benefits into one payment, has been rolled out across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire.

However, concerns have been raised by Macmillan Cancer Support, which has said current Universal Credit rules mean cancer patients face a five-week wait before they receive any money at all.

Lynda Thomas, Macmillan Cancer Support’s chief executive, said: “People with cancer should be able to focus their energy on their health, instead of worrying about how to make ends meet when they are too unwell to work.

“It is unacceptable to force patients to risk infection at Job Centres, log onto computers from hospital and wait more than a month for vital financial support, even at the end of their lives.

“The system is failing people with cancer.”