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Support for Patients

  • Practical Support

    There are many practical issues those living with a life-limiting illness will have to deal with, but there is help available to ensure patients remain safe in the home and have access to the services they need.

    Many patients with palliative care needs will be seen by the Southern Trust multidisciplinary team e.g. district nurse, occupational therapist and social worker, but there is also support available from other sources to ensure patients are safe, comfortable and as independent as possible when facing practical issues.

    If you or your family are finding it difficult to manage at home then speak with your GP or other professionals involved in your care, as there may be services available within the Trust that could help you e.g. equipment, respite care and transport.


    Access and Information Service

    The Access and Information Service offers advice and information on a range of local services available to older people living within the Southern Trust area.   For example, the service may be accessed by:

    • Anyone aged 65 or over  who is struggling to complete daily living tasks independently and/or feels isolated or lonely and would like connected to local support services
    • A relative and/or carer seeking assistance for an older person Anyone wanting to find out information or discuss referral to services for older people

    Telephone:    Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5.00pm, 028 375 64300

    Out of hours – 028 9504 9999



    Macmillan Information and Support Service

    This Service provides information and support to patients with a cancer diagnosis and their family and carers.  A wide range of information is available for example: cancer treatments and making treatment decisions; benefits and financial help; travelling; living well; emotional support; as well as planning for the future.  All of this information and much more are available at the Macmillan Information Centre based at Craigavon Area Hospital or the Macmillan Infopod at Daisy Hill Hospital.  In addition, the information can be found on the Macmillan Cancer Support website under ‘Information and support’.

    Telephone:  Macmillan Information Centre, Craigavon Area Hospital – 028 375 61001


    Macmillan Charity also provides:

    • A free advice line (7 days a week, 8am-8pm), telephone number is
    • 0808 808 0000.
    • A benefits advice service based at Craigavon Area Hospital, telephone number is 0300 123 3233.
    • A Macmillan Information Centre based at Craigavon Area Hospital, telephone number is 028 37 561001.
    • A Macmillan Infopod at Daisy Hill Hospital which provides information  leaflets/booklets for patients, carers or the public.
    • A Community Helpers scheme based locally, to find out more contact the Macmillan Information Centre.


    NI Direct

    NI Direct is the official government website for Northern Ireland citizens.  It provides a wide range of information from benefits to transport and much more.  The information relates specifically to Northern Ireland.



    Local Adult Physical Disability Teams

    For adults under the age of 65. The adult physical disability teams provide a range of practical supports. Their teams consist of multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals.


    • Craigavon & Banbridge – 028 38304088
    • Armagh & Dungannon – 028 37412333
    • Newry & Mourne – 028 30256790


    Integrated Care Teams

    For adults over 65 who require support or advice. The integrated care teams consist of multi-disciplinary healthcare professionals.


    • Armagh – 028 37564986
    • Dungannon – 028 87713042
    • Newry – 028 30825000
    • Banbridge – 028 40620045
    • Portadown – 028 37561060
    • Lurgan – 028 38366927


    Public transport

    You can plan your travel to appointments using the Translink Journey Planner found on the Translink website.   Translink offer a range of concession and Senior Citizen passes.  To find out if you are eligible for reduced fares or travel cards contact Translink.

    Telephone: 028 9066 6630

    0845 6000049.


    Link for concessions:


    Good Morning / Good Neighbour Service

    Good Morning is a confidential telephone service for older people who are feeling isolated, vulnerable and lonely. The service offers a daily or weekly telephone call from a volunteer for friendly chat and advice on other support services.

    Good Neighbour is a home visiting service where a volunteer will make a weekly visit to an older person to provide social interaction, and help them feel more connected with their local community

    Telephone: 028 30261022


    Rosie’s Trust (pets)

    Our mission is to maintain and support the special relationship and bond between owners and their companion pets. We will do this when this relationship is threatened by the impact of the owner’s terminal illness, advancing age or acute cancer treatment.

    Telephone: 07721204061



    Family Choices

    The Family Choices service, run by Loughshore Care Partnership supports family members where a loved one has received a palliative diagnosis. Where possible this service provides practical and social support to the family unit, giving them more time to spend with their loved one. It is a free service in the Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council. Referrals can be made through District Nursing or the Palliative Care Team.


    British Red Cross wheelchairs

    The British Red Cross provides short-term loans of wheelchairs and other equipment at various outlets in the UK. They provide wheelchairs on loan as a mobility aid for those in Northern Ireland. Red Cross equipment is usually available within 24 hours in an emergency.  It is advisable to ring the Red Cross for an appointment to discuss your needs.  For more information, please visit  or Telephone:  Portadown branch on 028 38333415 or Newry branch on 028 30257178.

  • Emotional support

    Living with a life-limiting illness can bring emotional and spiritual challenges to you and your family. There are different services and support workers who may help you manage these difficulties. It is important to talk to someone as it can be difficult to cope alone.

    Southern Trust specialist nurses and social workers provide emotional and spiritual support for both the patient and their families. They focus on the holistic care of patients by valuing their emotional wellbeing and supporting their spiritual needs. They can also signpost onto additional information and support services with the Southern Trust. These support services include: the Macmillan and Information Support Service, the Chaplaincy Service, Volunteer Service, Complementary Therapy Service and support groups. There are additional support services external to the Trust such as the Cancer Focus Counselling Service for patients with a cancer diagnosis.

    Support for you at home

    Speak to your GP or any professional who is involved in your care and they can help signpost you onto the most appropriate service.


    Macmillan Information and Support Service

    Many people with advanced cancer feel frightened and often worry about the future or dying, or the effect cancer is having on their family. The Macmillan Information and Support Service provides comprehensive information and support to anyone who has concerns about cancer, including family, friends and carers.

    Telephone: 028 38360531

    If you have a urgent query please contact Macmillan Cancer Support helpline free on 0808 808 0000 or alternatively contact Cancer Focus Northern Ireland Helpline free on 0800 783 3339.


    Southern Trust Chaplaincy Service

    The Southern Trust’s Chaplaincy Service provides 24 hour care for the pastoral and spiritual needs of patients, families and staff during the sometimes difficult experience of a hospital admission. The chaplaincy team comprises the Church of Ireland, Catholic, Presbyterian and Methodist churches and they are supported by spiritual care volunteers and is available in Daisy Hill, Craigavon Area, South Tyrone and Lurgan Hospitals.

    Craigavon Area Hospital – Contact Switchboard on Tel: 028 3833 4444

    Daisy Hill Hospital – Contact Switchboard on Tel: 028 3083 5000

    South Tyrone and Lurgan Hospitals – The Ward Sister will make contact with the Chaplaincy Team on your behalf.



    CHARIS Integrated Cancer Care works in conjunction with clinical treatments for cancer and our comfortable treatment rooms are purpose-designed for the delivery of complementary therapies by trained practitioners free of charge. Individual and group therapies are available.

    Our staff will offer our clients every form of support that is possible. Our role is to listen and help. We provide a warm and nurturing environment, with support from experienced professionals and therapists.

    T: 028 8676 9217


    Cancer Choices

    Cancer Choices support people in the local community who have been affected by cancer.  is an Independent patient led cancer support and information centre supping people affected by cancer including patients,  Carers and family members wherever they maybe.  Services provided include: complementary therapies, short term counselling, befriending support, welfare and benefits advice, beauty treatments, information library and sign posting to other appropriate services.

    T: 028 8772 9850


    Cancer Focus Northern Ireland

    Cancer Focus NI provides care and support for cancer patients and their families.  Support includes counselling, family suppor and art therapy.  When you, or someone close to you has cancer it is normal to feel anxious, frightened and worried about the future. These feelings can confuse and overwhelm you. If you would like to discuss whether this service is right for you, please contact one of the numbers below.

    Telephone: 028 90663281

    Telephone: 028 37560843

  • Financial support

    Macmillan Benefits Advice Service

    This Service provides advice and information about benefits, employment and housing issues and aim to help people coping with cancer and to ensure that the patient, their family and carers receive everything to which they are entitled.

    Telephone: 0300 1233 233


    Social workers

    A social worker may also be able to give you advice on sources of financial help. The social worker is part of the multi-disciplinary team involved in your care.


    Citizens’ Advice Bureau

    Your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau can also give you financial and legal advice.



    The Social Security Agency (SSA) is responsible for benefits in Northern Ireland. It has different offices that handle these benefits, including Social Security or Jobs and Benefits offices, the Disability and Carers Service, and the Pension Service.

    Freephone: 0800 220 674


    Local community outreach officers

    • Craigavon and Banbridge – 40653029
    • Newry and Mourne – 30823022
    • Armagh and Portadown – 37571089
    • Dungannon – 86746054


    Macmillan grants

    Dependent on your income you may be entitled to a Macmillan grant which is a one-off payment for adults, young people or children with cancer, to cover a wide range of practical needs.

    You need to apply through a health or social care professional, such as a social worker, district nurse, or a specialist palliative care nurse if you have one or a Macmillan Benefit adviser.


    For people of working age

    There are different types of financial help available to people under 65 years old. For more information, please visit the department for communities (Benefits section) or contact the benefits adviser who will be able to explain what benefits you may be entitled to given your specific situation.


    Employment rights

    The Disability Discrimination Act protects anyone in Northern Ireland who has a terminal illness. If you feel you have been discriminated in work because of your illness, please visit Citizens Advice website at


    For older people

    If you are of pension age you may be entitled to certain benefits. For more information, please visit the Department for Social Development website (Social Security Agency section) or contact the Benefits Adviser who will be able to explain what benefits you may be entitled to given your specific situation.


    CLIC Sargent

    CLIC Sargent provides grants to young people to help with immediate financial needs. Any family with a child or young person aged 24 or under who is receiving treatment for cancer or palliative care can apply. Applications need to be made through a CLIC Sargent social worker or healthcare professional.

    T: 0300 330 0803


    Cancer Fund for Children

    The Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children recognises the devastating impact a cancer diagnosis has on the whole family.  It supports families who are coping with a child who has cancer or a child/young person whose parent has been diagnosed with cancer.  It supports families at home, in the community and at its therapeutic short break and residential centre.  In addition, it offers financial support to children and young people under 25, with cancer, and their families, throughout Northern Ireland. They offer help with travel costs and one off grants.

    T: 0044 2890 805599



    Many people with a serious illness find they feel the cold more and are at home for longer periods of time. Help is available to help you improve the heating systems and insulation in your home.

    UK-wide payments

    When weather has been particularly cold (temperatures of 0 or lower for seven consecutive days), the government will automatically make a weekly payment of £25 to people who receive certain benefits. Cold Weather Payments will automatically be made on top of your usual benefits.


    Winter Fuel Payment

    Winter Fuel Payment is a government scheme to help older people keep warm during winter. A yearly payment is made to both men and women who have reached state pension age.


    Warm Homes

    The Warm Homes Scheme provides grants to people living in Northern Ireland who are receiving certain benefits to make energy-saving changes, such as putting in loft or cavity wall insulation to their homes.

    Freephone: 0800 988 0559



    Speaking to your energy supplier

    The Consumer Council for Northern Ireland has information about dealing with fuel bills. If you are living with a life-limiting illness, you should let your supplier know and they should then place you on the Priority Service Register, which gives you access to free extra services from your supplier. It also ensures your energy will not be cut off if you fall behind on your payments.

    T: 028 9067 2488


    Your local council will also be able to provide you with information on eligibility to energy efficiency schemes and grants.

    Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon council – 0300 0300 900

    Mid Ulster district council – 03000 132 132

    Newry and Mourne council – 0330 137 4000