New specialist care service for West Lothian residents

A ground-breaking partnership between Marie Curie Cancer Care, NHS Lothian and Macmillan Cancer Support has begun delivering specialist palliative care services in West Lothian.

It is the first time the three organisations have come together in Scotland to provide dedicated services for patients with any advanced, progressive and incurable illness, and support for their families.

The West Lothian Palliative Care Service, based at The Macmillan Centre at St John’s Hospital in Livingston, will be officially launched today (30​ July 2014).

It will offer a range of free services to provide patients, and the people caring for them, with specialist support and advice – whether in hospital, in their own home, in a community hospital or in a care home.

The centre has recently been extensively refurbished. Macmillan invested over £500,000 in the refurbishment to provide privacy and dignity for patients and their families as well as improving clinical efficiency and creating a welcoming environment.

Marie Curie and NHS Lothian clinical and support staff, supported by a consultant in palliative medicine and a team of health and social care professionals have begun delivering.

West Lothian patients and their families will now have access to high quality palliative and end-of-life care and support in their community including information and advice, emotional and spiritual assistance, assessment and advice on managing pain and other symptoms, and guidance to help plan ahead. 

Nichola Summers, Marie Curie Divisional General Manager, Scotland explains: “The new service will deliver the best possible care for West Lothian residents, enabling them to spend as much time as possible at home, where most people tell us they most want to be. Bringing professionals together in much closer working partnerships than ever before, it will ensure that care is individual to the patient and their family. We couldn’t do this without the generous support of the public and we hope that local residents will be inspired to donate when they see the impact it brings.”
Gill Cottrell Chief Nurse of West Lothian Community Health and Care Partnership (CHCP) said: "We are committed to providing the best possible range of palliative care services for people in Lothian who are living with cancer, or other progressive illnesses, and that is why we are working with Macmillan and Marie Curie to create this rounded service.”
Elspeth Atkinson, Macmillan Director in Scotland said: “Macmillan wants to ensure that people in West Lothian that are affected by cancer or any advanced, progressive and incurable illness receive the best treatment, information and support in the most supportive environment.
“We have invested over £500,000 on a major refurbishment of the Macmillan Centre at St John’s Hospital to update and improve the centre and are delighted to be working with NHS Lothian and Marie Curie to provide people in West Lothian with the highest level of care both, in the Centre, and the community. We couldn’t do this without the continued support and dedication from people locally who work so hard to raise money for Macmillan and help us ensure that nobody faces cancer alone.”

Referrals to the service can be made via any West Lothian health or social care professional or by contacting the following numbers:

  • Patients being cared for in St John’s Hospital: 01506 522 010.
  • Patients cared for at home or in a community hospital: 01506 523 531.