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If you have any questions about Macmillan nurses you can find the answers here. Or speak to one of our cancer support specialists|.
|Macmillan nurses specialise in cancer and palliative care, providing support and information to people with cancer, and their families, friends and carers|, from the point of diagnosis onwards.
Macmillan nurses offer the following:
Macmillan nurses do not carry out routine nursing tasks, such as personal hygiene, changing dressings and giving medicines, and do not focus on non-cancer patients.
Though they may not directly give this care, they will coordinate a team of people who will and will provide cancer expertise and guidance to help them provide the most appropriate care.
Macmillan nurses usually work normal office hours although this can vary. If you require urgent out of hours help, please contact NHS Direct on NHS Direct, 0845 4647 or www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk| .
Macmillan nurses are not an emergency service – they usually work normal office hours although this can vary.
If the Macmillan nurse is unavailable, the service will ensure that a recorded phone message provides phone numbers of other services that can be contacted out-of-hours.
If you require urgent out of hours help, please contact NHS Direct on NHS Direct, 0845 4647 or www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk| .
Macmillan focuses mainly on people affected by cancer but are increasingly sharing experience and working with colleagues caring for people with other conditions, and do therefore provide some support for non-cancer patients.
Macmillan nurses and Marie Curie nurses work to support cancer patients in very different ways. Macmillan nurses are trained to help patients, their carers| and families throughout their experience of cancer by providing pain and symptom relief, information about cancer treatments| and side effects|, an opportunity to discuss problems, feelings and future plans, and to offer advice to other members of the caring team.
Marie Curie nurses provide practical, hands-on nursing care during the terminal stages of cancer in patient's homes and will often be available for a morning, afternoon or all night, so that the family carers are able to rest.
Macmillan Nurses do not routinely see private patients. However, please speak to your consultant about a referral to Macmillan Services. You can find your local information and support services here.|
Everyone who has specialist needs should be seen and assessed by a Macmillan nurse in order to identify their needs and to develop an action plan or a 'care plan'. During their cancer journey, patients are automatically referred if they have specialist needs and that's why most people will get a Macmillan nurse.
At any point you can talk to your GP or district nurse about whether you need specialist input from a Macmillan nurse.
If you haven't yet had Macmillan involvement in your care, it's perfectly ok for you or your family to say 'Can I/should I have a Macmillan nurse?' This will then be discussed by the people that are providing your care, to see if it's appropriate and beneficial.
Often you may be looked after by specialist nurses that are not funded by Macmillan and don't carry the Macmillan title, but they are specialist nurses in their own right and it doesn't mean that the expertise or the care that they're offering is of a lesser standard than any Macmillan nurse.
In the seventies, a trustee on the board of Macmillan named Henry Garnett set up the first ever national fundraising appeal to pay for a number of specialist palliative care nurses. The first of these nurses was funded in 1975 and since then we've grown in number. Read more about the history of the charity.|
For the first three years of a nurse's post, we fund their salary and some of their training costs. We make sure the organisation that's employing them has agreed to continue funding once the three year Macmillan grant is completed. At the end of that time the Macmillan nurse doesn't just disappear, they continue to be a member of the NHS or the hospice where they're working and it's the NHS or the hospice that pays their salary.
For the first three years, Macmillan nurses are funded almost entirely through the generous voluntary donations of our supporters. If you’d like to help us continue to provide their vital services – and increase the number of Macmillan nurses available to people with cancer – you can. Please consider setting up a regular direct debit| and continuing to support us throughout the year.
If you are not entitled to a Macmillan nurse and you are not getting support from any other specialist nurse, district nurse or GP or if you just want to talk, you can access support through the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 and expert cancer information online| and from be.macmillan|.
Find out about all of the other ways we can help|.
For answers, support or just a chat, call the Macmillan Support Line free (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm)
Macmillan nurses are funded almost entirely through the generous donations of our supporters.
Please help us to be there for more people by giving what you can today.
If you have any questions about Macmillan we would love to hear from you| .
You can also follow us| on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr or YouTube.
© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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