The community Macmillan service is part
of County Durham and Darlington Community Health Services. We
have Macmillan consultants and doctors, specialist nurses,
Macmillan carers, a specialist rehabilitation team and a dedicated
team of secretaries, all here to help you, your family or carer.
Although we are employed by the NHS, we use the Macmillan name
because Macmillan cancer support help us to develop and maintain
How can we help you?
When you or someone close to you is diagnosed with a serious
illness, it can sometimes be very difficult - physically,
emotionally or practically. Community Macmillan staff specialise in
improving the quality of life for patients who have serious
illnesses like cancer, or other conditions such as chest, heart and
neurological diseases. This type of care is known as palliative
We can offer support to patients as well as their carers and
family, at any point in the illness. We will ensure that it is
individual to patients and is continually assessed. This can be in
their home or other settings like care homes.
Who are we and what do we do?
Macmillan administration staff.
When you contact the Macmillan service, one of our administration
staff will usually be the first person you speak to. All our
secretaries are very experienced and have a wide knowledge of
cancer and palliative care which can help them to understand the
best way to help you. They will be very happy to help with your
query if they can, or will make sure that you can speak to the most
appropriate person at the earliest opportunity.
Community Macmillan nurses.
Community Macmillan nurses provide expert palliative care and
support for patients. This is complementary to the care provided by
other health professionals that we work closely with - for example,
your GP or district nurse. We provide symptom management
advice, and can give you, your family and carers time to talk
through your thoughts and feelings, and discuss emotional, social
and spiritual issues if you need to.
We also provide support and education to other health care
professionals who are involved in the care of patients with
Referrals to the Macmillan carers are made by district nurses, with
whom we work very closely. Helping patients to stay at home during
difficult times, if that is what they want, is very important to
We provide practical, emotional, social and supportive care for
patients, their families and carers in the patientsâ€™ home,
including care homes. This can be at any point in the illness,
including end of life.
Macmillan consultant in palliative care.
Our consultants are specialists in palliative care. They can see
patients at home or in community clinics to offer advice on complex
pain and symptom management. They also offer advice, information,
education and support to other health professionals to ensure
patients get the best possible care from those looking after
Macmillan GP facilitator.
This is a GP with specialist knowledge of cancer and palliative
care, who helps to improve the care of patients with palliative
care needs. This can be by working on projects that will improve
care, or acting as a resource and providing training and education
for health professionals.
Macmillan lead nurse.
The Macmillan lead nurse aims to ensure the highest standard of
care is provided for the people of County Durham and Darlington who
have cancer and palliative care needs. This can be by providing
leadership for nurses, sharing good practice and planning services
which will all help to develop high quality care.
Macmillan specialist rehabilitation team.
This team aims to help patients (and their families) to remain as
well and as independent as possible within the limits of their
illness. We have a dietitian, physiotherapist and a therapy
technician, who are all highly skilled and can help with
difficulties you might have. Dietitians can help with symptoms like
poor appetite, altered taste or swallowing difficulties.
Physiotherapists can help with a variety of symptoms including
breathlessness, anxiety, tiredness and restricted mobility.
Patients and families can benefit from early contact with this
team which provides useful advice, practical strategies and
support. This may be very valuable before and during cancer
treatments; and for non cancer patients whose disease is causing
Community Macmillan services are
available across County Durham and Darlington.
We have staff based in community hospitals, hospices and other
sites in Shotley Bridge, Durham & Chester Le Street, Peterlee,
Bishop Auckland and Darlington.
You can access the service through your GP or district nurse, or by
telephoning one of our offices:
'As I was very, very nervous, I must have been the worst patient
ever and they were brilliant with me and I can't thank them enough
- could you please pass on my sincere thanks.'
Patient, Hysteroscopy Unit, Chester-le-Street Community