Cancer environments

Macmillan has been creating healing cancer environments with the NHS and other partners since 1976, and we’re experts at what we do.

When you're diagnosed with cancer, you'll want to know that you’re getting the best treatment, information and support you can, in the most supportive environment.

From the first specialist palliative care units in the NHS, we've expanded over the years to cover every aspect of cancer care, including active treatment, diagnostic, breast care, outpatient and information and support centres. We've now provided over 275 cancer environments in the UK, in hospitals and in the community.

Every environment is built around the needs of the individual. We ensure that our clinical environments include the essential supportive services needed to meet personal, emotional and practical needs, as well as treating the medical condition. Our information and support services range from quick-assembly info pods to major support centres, providing a range of complementary therapies, emotional support and practical advice, such as welfare benefits and personal care.

What is the Macmillan Quality Environment Mark?

Macmillan’s Quality Environment Mark (MQEM) was accredited in 2016 by Care Quality Commission (CQC) as an official information source for their inspections in health.

MQEM is a detailed quality framework used for assessing whether cancer care environments meet the standards required by people living with cancer. It is the first assessment tool of its kind in the UK. The Cancer Environments team developed the standards based on evidence and in collaboration with people living with cancer and numerous stakeholders, including the Department of Health and academic sector.

The assessment rate has grown year-on-year and we have now completed over 343 assessments. Find out more about the award and how you can apply for it.

Our cancer environments

Every year over 67,000 people are helped in our cancer treatment and care buildings. There were 452,829 visits in 2014 to the information and support centres, where people were able to find information or talk to someone.

Space, art and gardens are key in our most recent projects, to help people feel comfortable during treatment or palliative care. They often feature a tranquil garden for visitors to relax in.

Combining classic architecture with modern design, information and support centres are beautiful. Centres offer counselling services and meditation as well as a relaxing space to talk to someone.

Entering is like going into a luxurious hotel, not a hospital. It's convenient, cheerful and uplifting. I look forward to coming here.

A patient at Bedford cancer centre

Discover more about our cancer environments:

The inside of the East Surrey Macmillan Cancer Support Centre. Brown chairs and coffee tables with shelves of cancer information booklets.

East Surrey Macmillan Cancer Support Centre

The East Surrey Macmillan Cancer Support Centre is now open at East Surrey Hospital in Redhill.

The interior of the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre in Harrogate there are green and purple comfortable chairs and big glass doors opening onto a garden area.

Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre in Harrogate

The new Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre in Harrogate opened in March 2014.

Inside the Woolverston Macmillan Centre in Ipswich there's a countryside mural and green and brown armchairs with low tables.

The Woolverstone Macmillan Centre in Ipswich

The new centre was completed in June 2016 after substantial renovation of the existing Oncology and Haematology Day Unit.

The inside of the Horizon Centre easy chairs are dotted about with large glass windows in the background.

The Macmillan Horizon Centre

A calm, friendly and welcoming place offering support so no one in Sussex has to face cancer alone.

Beatson Macmillan support hub

The Macmillan support hub at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre opened in July 2018.

The chemotherapy lounge of the Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre. The room is spacious and has chemotherapy chairs for day use.

The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre in Northallerton

The Sir Robert Ogden Macmillan Centre in Northallerton opened its doors in December 2018.