New Macmillan cancer information & support hub launched at Daisy Hill Hospital

13th November 2019

‘It is a great comfort to be able to go to one place and get advice and help with all the issues that go through your head when you are affected by cancer’, says local woman Margaret McAteer.

A new Macmillan information & support hub has opened at Daisy Hill Hospital in partnership with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.Located on the ground floor corridor of the hospital as you turn left before the shop, the hub offers a wide range of advice and information on the issues which affect people with cancer and their families.

Macmillan has been working with the Southern Trust over the last eight years to improve access to cancer information and support services across its hospitals, primary care and community locations. The opening of the Daisy Hill hub follows the development of a Macmillan information and support centre located in Craigavon Area Hospital foyer in recent years.

Heather Monteverde, Head of Services for Macmillan Cancer Support in Northern Ireland commented, “We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust to launch the new information & support hub at Daisy Hill Hospital. Macmillan’s ambition is to ensure that everyone with cancer will get the support they need.

“For most people a cancer diagnosis is devastating. This new service will help ensure that there is a trained Macmillan professional or volunteer there to support people affected by cancer to access the services you need to navigate the system. It’s about empowering people to regain a sense of control over their lives so that whatever cancer throws your way, we’re right there with you.”

Speaking at the opening of the new Macmillan hub at Daisy Hill Hospital, Barry Conway, Southern Trust Assistant Director for Acute Services said: “A cancer diagnosis can have a huge impact on both the patient and their family. They need lots of support at this difficult time including access to good quality and up to date information.

“Evidence shows that access to information and support helps the patient and their family to make informed choices throughout their cancer journey. It provides support regarding personal matters such as finance, the management of treatment side effects and provides people with the opportunity to have peer support from others in a similar situation.

“We sincerely thank Macmillan Cancer Support for funding this project and to all of those service users and volunteers who have been recruited and trained to help others from the hub.”

A number of service users worked with Macmillan and the Trust estates team to develop the hub. Service User Margaret McAteer who helped officially open the new service said: “I know how important it was to me that myself and my family got the right information and support throughout my cancer journey.”

Margaret continued, “I’m delighted that this new information hub has opened in Daisy Hill to support the people of Newry and the surrounding areas. I was helped by the information and support centre in Craigavon Area Hospital when I was receiving my treatment there and they signposted me to various financial, emotional and practical support services and told me what to expect regarding my cancer diagnosis and treatment. When living with cancer it is a great comfort to be able to go to one place and get advice and help with all the issues that go through your head.”

Lynne Smart, Head of Health Improvement at the Southern Trust added: “This new information hub offers a lovely private corner within the busy hospital to help people affected by cancer. The Macmillan funded staff and trained volunteers can offer a listening ear and information on everything from local support groups to programmes to support health and wellbeing. You don’t need an appointment and are very welcome to drop in whether you have a cancer diagnosis, are worried about cancer or are concerned for a friend or relative.”

No appointment is necessary, and people can drop in for information at any time.

For more information email: macmillaninfo&support@southerntrust.hscni.net or phone 028 3756 1001.