Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Service

East Lothian

Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Service

Overview of services provided

The Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Service is available to any patient over the age of 16 years with advanced, progressive or incurable disease who requires palliative care. The service is available to patients in any setting - home, community hospital, or care home and offers telephone advice, a single assessment visit or a period of specialist care according to need.
The service operates Monday to Friday and messages are checked between 8.30 a.m.  and 4.30 p.m.
Referral can be made for a patient with advanced, progressive or incurable disease who has:
  • complex end of life care needs
  • uncontrolled pain or other symptoms
  • complex physical, psychological, spiritual or family needs that cannot  be fully met by the existing care team
Priority is given to patients with severe symptoms; advice and/or review is offered within 2 working days of referral. Referrals can be made by patients, relatives/carers and healthcare professionals but must come via the referred persons GP.


Our aim is to maintain and/or improve quality of life; this also extends to family and friends who may be caring for patients.

We can:
  • Help explain the best way to control pain and other symptoms.
  • Discuss advance/ anticipatory care planning
  • Help advise and guide through the different kinds of treatment and drugs which may be given.
  • Spend time with patients and families and talk over any worries they may have.
  • Refer on to the Macmillan Welfare Rights Adviser and any other agency that may be helpful.
  • Advise on practical help or equipment that may be needed.
  • Liaise with other healthcare professionals involved in the patients care.
  • Provide brief intervention bereavement support and offer advice / refer on if further support is required.
The Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Service provides advice and support to supplement the care provided by the patients GP. The GP is the main point of contact and should always be contacted first in an emergency.

Last Reviewed: 19/06/2015