What does the Macmillan Nurse do?
Macmillan Nurses are qualified nurses with specialist qualifications and skills in cancer care.
Their role is to support patients and their families through diagnosis and treatment. They also advise on aspects of care when treatment is for comfort and not cure, which is known as palliative care. You can have access to hospital-based Macmillan Nurses at Raigmore Hospital or community-based Macmillan Nurses who work locally as members of your primary health care team.
Macmillan Nurses also see people who do not have cancer, but are dealing with other chronic illnesses such as motor neurone disease, end-phase cardiac disease, and multiple sclerosis. The Macmillan Nurses help with symptom control and provide palliative care.
The Macmillan Nurse is available to patients from diagnosis onwards. This may be for:
- information relating to diagnosis and treatment options
- advice on physical symptom management
- psychological, emotional and social support for patients and their families
- bereavement support for families known to the Macmillan Nurse
- financial advice, such as helping you access any benefits you may be eligible for Macmillan Cancer Relief patient grants are available for a variety of financial needs.
How do i get to see a Macmillan Nurse?
If you are in hospital, and the staff in your ward or clinic have not already offered you the services of a Macmillan Nurse, then you can ask to see one.
If you meet the Macmillan Nurse in hospital, it does not mean that you will automatically be visited by a Macmillan Nurse when you are at home. If you are at home and wish to see a Macmillan Nurse, you may contact them directly (phone numbers are listed at the back of this booklet), or you may ask your GP or Community Nurse to do so on your behalf. However, you can still make contact with the hospital Macmillan Nurse by telephone if you wish. The choice is yours.
Should you go back into hospital, please remember that the hospital Macmillan Nurse may not be aware that you are in. If you want a visit, ask the staff to let her know you are there.
What hours does the Macmillan Nurse work?
Both hospital-based and community-based Macmillan Nurses work Monday to Friday during normal office hours.
Some nurses may only work part-time and they are often out of the office visiting patients. However, there is always an answering machine where you can leave a message and they will get back to you on their return. If you are at home and the matter is urgent it is best to contact your GP.
Where will I see the community-based Macmillan Nurse?
The community-based Macmillan Nurse will usually visit at your home but it is also possible to meet at another mutually convenient place.