New support for residents who have a terminal illness

Macmillan social workers, from left, Heather Kent, Val Turtle, Ian Coates and Nicola Brennan.
Macmillan social workers, from left, Heather Kent, Val Turtle, Ian Coates and Nicola Brennan.
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A team of specially-trained social workers is providing end-of-life support for people in Northumberland.

Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, with funding from Macmillan Cancer Support, has appointed a team of four Macmillan social workers to support residents with cancer and a range of life-limiting or long-term conditions.

They also provide on-going help to family and friends.

Heather Kent, Val Turtle, Nicola Brennan and Ian Coates are enabling people with complex care needs who are nearing the end of their life to access the specific care and support that they and their loved ones need.

The quartet help to arrange and co-ordinate hospital discharges, so those with these serious illnesses can spend more time at home or in their preferred place of care.

The aim is to improve the quality of life for the patient, their family and friends by helping people get timely, joined up community support, with tailored health and social care plans that reflect the individual’s own wishes.

Vanessa Bainbridge, director of adult and community care services at Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be working with Macmillan to introduce this specialist team in Northumberland.

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

“The specially-trained Macmillan social worker team is a valuable addition to our range of specialist end-of-life and palliative care services, providing support for people at such a sensitive and difficult time.”

Karen Stenlund, Macmillan Cancer Support’s development manager in the North East, added: “By co-ordinating appropriate, effective care, patients have a more tailored service.”

To request assistance, contact the Northumberland Adult Social Care Single Point of Access on 01670 536400.