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Northumbria Healthcare wins Macmillan support to provide social workers for end-of-life care

Tuesday, 18 November, 2014
Northumbria Healthcare wins Macmillan support to provide social workers for end-of-life care

End-of-life care for people in Northumberland is set to benefit from a ground-breaking new specialist team for the county.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has successfully won Macmillan funding to recruit a team of four Macmillan social workers, who will support people with cancer and a range of life-limiting or long-term conditions. The new team will also provide ongoing support to family and friends.

The specially-trained social workers will give people with complex care needs who are nearing the end of their life specialist help to access the specific care and support they need.

This will include health and social care plans tailored to the individual’s own wishes; helping people get timely, joined-up community support; arranging and coordinating hospital discharges; and supporting carers.

The goal is to improve the quality of life for the patient, their family and friends.

Daljit Lally, executive director of wellbeing and community health services at Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be working with Macmillan to create this ground-breaking new team.

“People nearing the end of their life can have complex and wide-ranging care and support needs.

“By helping to coordinate access to health and social care in the community in a way that respects that person’s individual choices, the Macmillan social worker can help reduce their anxiety and stress, and ultimately improve their quality of life.

“We have a real commitment to ensuring people have the best possible service and this includes helping them to have their say in where and how they are cared for.”

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust delivers hospital and community services in Northumberland and North Tyneside and adult social care services in Northumberland in partnership with Northumberland County Council.

Northumberland County Councillor Susan Dungworth, policy board member for adult care and public health, said: “People with life-limiting conditions should be provided with support every step of the way. They can encounter numerous social and emotional challenges that affect their daily lives and they, and their carers, need support from professionals who understand the social aspect of living with a life-limiting condition. 

“Bringing four specially-trained social workers to assist with end-of-life care in the county will be a very welcome addition to the Macmillan team.”

The Macmillan social workers will form part of a range of Macmillan support available to people living in Northumberland, including nurses across the county, allied health professionals, benefits advisers, information and support services and a bereavement service.

Karen Stenlund, Macmillan development manager in the North East, said: “Macmillan knows that people living with cancer and their carers have social care needs as well as health needs. They tell us they need emotional and practical support and financial help and advice throughout their cancer journey. These new Macmillan social workers will be a great source of support for people affected by cancer in Northumberland.”