Referring a patient for Bupa counselling

Macmillan are offering free telephone one-on-one counselling with a qualified Bupa therapist, who has been trained in supporting people living with cancer. The therapists are ready to help people living with cancer to understand, manage and overcome difficult feelings they might be experiencing right now.

If you’re a healthcare professional and you have an eligible patient you feel could benefit from this service, and you have their permission, you can refer them via this form.

If you would like more information on how to judge a patient's eligibility, please read our guidance on making a Bupa referral.

Is your patient eligible for Bupa counselling?

To access the service, your patient should be:

  • aware that you are making this referral and have given their consent
  • 18 years old or over
  • living with cancer – at any stage
  • feeling emotionally distressed and affected by their cancer journey, to the extent that they feel they would like emotional support, and have been feeling this way for a month or more
  • feeling that their usual daily functioning is being affected by their emotions
  • mentally and physically able to engage in the service
  • keen to start their journey with the Bupa Support Team immediately.

They must not be:

  • receiving therapy, help or support elsewhere for mental health needs
  • in severe crisis or having suicidal thoughts.

If this is the case, please refer them to more appropriate crisis pathways. We will not be able to get help to them immediately using this form.

If you believe your patient is eligible and you have their consent, fill in the online form and a member of the Bupa Team will be in touch with them within 5 working days.

If you would like more information about how to judge a patient’s eligibility, please review the combined MSL training part one and two.

If you’re unsure but your patient would still like to access the service, please ask them to contact the Macmillan Support Line themselves on 0808 808 00 00 (from 8am-8pm).

Please note: Please contact Macmillan by using the methods above. Do not contact Bupa directly as they will not be able to refer you.

Refer now

What will happen once I submit the form?

Once you complete the form, Macmillan will transfer the patient’s details to the Bupa Support Team, who will be in touch with them within 5 working days to conduct an emotional well-being assessment.

The outcome of this assessment will be one of the following:

  • access to up to 6 emotional support sessions, conducted virtually or over the phone
  • access to a one-off emotional support session, conducted over the phone or by video call
  • signposting back to Macmillan, the patient’s GP or the NHS.

Bupa will try to contact your patient 3 times. After this, if they have not been able to successfully contact your patient, their case will be closed, and they will be discharged from the service. 

You will be informed if your patient is discharged from the service, eg they are referred back to Macmillan, disengage with the process or do not attend their initial appointment. You will be asked if you’re happy for this to happen on the online form.

Fill in the online form and a member of the Bupa Team will be in touch with your patient within 5 working days.

How will you use my patient's data and my data?

Once you submit the form, we will create a record of your patient’s details on Macmillan’s database. We will use these details to give your patient the best possible support every time they contact us and to tailor our communications with them.

We will then pass the details you have given us to Bupa, who will use them to arrange a well-being assessment with your patient. If they are referred on for further counselling, Bupa will use these details to arrange these appointments.

You will be asked for your patient’s consent to this before you submit the form.

Bupa will discuss how they will use your patient’s details in the well-being consultation.

We will also ask you for your own details, so that Bupa can inform you if your patient is discharged. We will check that you are happy for us to do this on the online form.

Why does the form say it is closed?

This is a pilot service and we currently only have capacity for a limited number of people per day to be referred via the online form.

If you receive a message to say that the survey is closed, this is because we have reached our capacity for that day.

In this case, you can try again the next day, or ask your patient to call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00 (from 8am-8pm) and we will be able to assist them.

If you have any questions or feedback about the online referral form, please contact and a member of the team will get back to you.

Please do not contact Bupa directly.