The Macmillan Support Line offers confidential support to people living with cancer and their loved ones. We are here to support people living with and affected by cancer at every stage of their journey.  If you need to talk, we’ll listen.

It is important that the people who speak to us, and our colleagues on the Macmillan Support Line, feel safe. We believe everyone has the right to be treated with fairness and respect. This page has more information about unacceptable or unreasonable behaviour when using the Macmillan Support Line. 


When we can and can't help


We are unable to reply to questions about cancer care outside the United Kingdom. This is because there are differences in health services and care in other countries.

Parental consent is not needed to offer support or advice to children of any age, although it is Macmillan’s best practice to obtain permission from a parent or guardian if a child is under the age of thirteen.


Keeping us all safe


We do not accept calls while people are driving. This is to ensure your safety, and the safety of others. We will ask you to pull over and if you cannot do so we will ask you to call back when you have stopped driving.

If we are concerned about your safety or the safety of others, we may break confidentiality and contact other services such as the police or ambulance service. You can read more about this in our Safeguarding Policy.

We’ll also tell you if you’re taking up an unfair amount of time as this could stop us helping other people.  For example, if you:

  • Repeatedly contact us with the same issue which is outside of the service we offer or keep raising the same issue when we’ve already helped you or we can’t help more
  • Making unfounded and unwarranted allegations, repeatedly
  • Ask to speak to a specific colleague when it’s not possible or contact lots of different colleagues to try and get a different outcome
  • Send us unsolicited photographs or attachments via webchats or emails.


Respecting our colleagues and volunteers


We understand that being affected by cancer can sometimes mean being angry, frustrated, or scared. You have the right to express these feelings - however, our colleagues and volunteers also have the right to carry out their role without being treated badly. We have a duty of care towards our staff and volunteers.

We won’t accept aggressive behaviour while helping you, for example:

  • Shouting and/or swearing at our colleagues and volunteers or being abusive towards them
  • Any form of discrimination, for example, racism, sexism, or homophobia
  • Sexual harassment
  • Threatening violence.
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