Health Matters: A thank you to our Macmillan Nurses at Johnson Community Hospital - by Jenny Hinchliffe

Spalding's Johnson Community Hospital viewed from the garden.
Spalding's Johnson Community Hospital viewed from the garden.
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Life as a Macmillan nurse means that no two days are the same. It is a varied and challenging role but that is why our Macmillan nurses enjoy it so much.

Our Macmillan nurses are based in Johnson Community Hospital, Spalding and work both on the hospital ward and in the community. They provide specialist palliative care to patients with advanced, progressive incurable illness with complex symptoms or problems. Care can be given directly when patients have highly complex needs that require specialist assessment and care planning, or indirectly through supporting and guiding other health and care professionals to provide treatment, care and support.

The Macmillan nurses work closely with GPs and hospital and community teams to enable people to be cared for and to die in their preferred place of care. It is always our aim to work together to ensure the right care is given, at the right time, in the right place for our patients.

Macmillan nurses see patients with cancer and other life limiting conditions. They recognise that the patients’ journey can be complex and disjointed, and involves care and interventions from various multi-site professionals such as oncologists, surgeons, physicians and counsellors. The Macmillan nurses provide information, advice and support, and liaise with other professionals and agencies to improve the care for patients, their families and carers.

We are very fortunate to have the Tulip Suite here at the hospital on Welland Ward. We have four dedicated palliative care beds for people requiring care of complex or difficult to manage symptoms, or care and support when they are approaching the end of their life.

The Macmillan Nurses support the ward team by providing expert information and advice to staff to support them to care for patients and support their carers and families. Many patients are discharged to their preferred place of care following a stay on the Tulip Suite with on-going support from the community nursing team and Macmillan Nurses. We are all very grateful for the wonderful work and support the Macmillan Nurses provide to patients, their families and carers but also to the dedicated staff here at the hospital.

• Jenny Hinchliffe is the head of clinical services for the South at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust.