Macmillan primary care community
Macmillan has invested in primary care for over 20 years, with the first Macmillan GPs being funded in the early 1990’s.
History and purpose
The first Macmillan GP roles emerged from a successful initiative with the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP), which aimed to test the concept of GPs with an interest in palliative care. The role has grown significantly over the years, broadening across the whole cancer journey. Macmillan GPs support early diagnosis of cancer, people living with cancer, and also support people to die well in primary and community care settings.
Today, there are around 200 GPs with an interest in cancer who work with Macmillan as part of our primary care community.
Macmillan GPs work closely with wider primary healthcare teams across their health economy to make a recognisable improvement in cancer care. More recently, we have been working with practice nurses (link to practice nurses section on Macmillan’s work in primary care page) to test the concept of managing cancer alongside other long-term conditions.
There are over 100 practice nurses across the UK involved in our current work, and who now part of our primary care community.
Read more about the well recognised concept of communities of influence which is based on our work with Macmillan GPs:
Part 1 [PDF]
Macmillan GPs are practising GPs who devote an average of a day per week to work with Macmillan to make a recognisable improvement in cancer care across the UK.
Although we don’t directly fund these GPs we provide funding for the first few years of the role, usually within NHS organisations, which initially host and then take over the funding.
Macmillan GPs are recognised locally as cancer clinical leaders and will often hold several roles in addition to their daily GP role. Their role as a Macmillan GP spans the whole care pathway including work on early diagnosis, supporting people living with cancer and enabling people to die well.
We don’t fund GPs to provide direct care to people with cancer, the Macmillan GP role involves working through leadership and influencing in a range of areas. From enabling access to cancer education for GPs, to supporting commissioning of cancer services (including pathway and service redesign), and providing practical support to GPs to help them recognise and manage people with cancer. Macmillan GPs will also work towards improving communication between professionals.
To find out more please see the role specification or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2012 we acknowledged 20 years since the first Macmillan GP was appointed. This video describes the role of Macmillan GPs and the importance of being part of a wider community of influence.
Macmillan GP Advisers
Our 200-strong community of Macmillan GPs are supported by a smaller strategic group of Macmillan GP Advisers. They work locally to offer peer support to Macmillan GPs in their area, and with local Macmillan teams on the development of services for people affected by cancer.
Macmillan GP Advisers also work as a UK-wide group to influence and support implementation of our strategic priorities for primary care.
Macmillan has long recognised the value of primary and community nurses and we are currently piloting the development of new nursing roles in these settings.
As part of our national primary care programme of work, we are also testing the feasibility of engaging practice nurses in managing cancer alongside other long term conditions.
There are almost 100 practice nurses across the UK involved, who will be invited to join our primary care community so that we can continue to learn from their experiences of supporting people living with and affected by cancer.
Find out more about our work with practice nurses, including the evaluation from our first pilot.