15 November 2012
A drop-in service that offers support and information to people affected by cancer in Northern Ireland today celebrated their two year anniversary and were presented with a prestigious national award: the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark.
The Macmillan Information Service based at the Royal Hospitals in Belfast offers a comprehensive range of information and support on all aspects of cancer. A partnership between Macmillan and the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, the centre opened its doors in October 2010 and in the past two years over 2,000 people visited the centre including patients, carers, family and friends. The success of the centre lies in improving the lives of people affected by cancer and in a recent survey 100% of people who used the centre said they would definitely recommend it to others.
Working closely with health and social care professionals at the Royal Hospitals and the Belfast Trust, the service has significantly increased access to cancer information and support for both inpatients and outpatients. Widespread distribution of resources throughout wards, departments and receptions and working collaboratively with health and social care services in the local community, including GP practices, health and wellbeing centres, libraries and Boots pharmacies has ensured both patients and families and health and social care professionals have improved access to cancer information.
In recognition of all this tremendous work the Centre was awarded the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark. The award, which is the first of its kind in the UK, recognises and rewards good practice and high standards within the physical environment of a cancer care building. The Macmillan Information Service at Royal Hospitals is among only 3 sites in Northern Ireland to be given the award, which has been developed in collaboration with people living with cancer and organisations including the health services in Northern Ireland.
Belfast Trust Director for Cancer and Specialist Services Jennifer Welsh said: 'I’m delighted that the Information and Support Centre in the Royal Victoria Hospital has been recognised with this award. Since it was opened two years ago, the friendly, welcoming environment has provided support not only to patients, but also families of people affected by cancer.'
Angela Small, Manager of the Macmillan Information & Support Centre said: 'On behalf of the service I’m delighted to receive this prestigious award which celebrates and recognises excellence in cancer care environments. People affected by cancer deserve nothing less than high standards of information and support in an environment that is conducive to meeting their needs. MQEM is one of the quality measures the centre has used to demonstrate these high standards. When people see the environment mark they can be confident of receiving high quality information and support in a centre that respects their choice, comfort and wellbeing.'
The Macmillan Quality Environment Mark will help to ensure that people affected by cancer are treated and supported in physical environments of uniformly high quality. The scheme is open to any healthcare providers from the public, voluntary or private sectors that operate cancer care buildings. Organisations can apply to be assessed for the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark via www.macmillan.org.uk/cancerenvironments
For further information, please contact:
Rebecca Charles, Communications Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support 0131 260 3720 (out of hours 07790 010 656)