You may come into contact with a number of healthcare professionals. We’ve outlined a few people so you can have a clearer picture of who is involved in your care and some of the possible care options available. Please tell your doctor if you would like them to share information about your condition with your carer or a family member. Doctors are bound by a code of conduct and will only discuss your condition with you unless you tell them otherwise.
The primary healthcare team is a team of healthcare professionals, including your GP, and is usually based in a health centre or surgery.
Your GP will liaise with the District Nurse, who is part of the team, regarding your care if you are being cared for at home. The GP is in charge of your medical care which includes prescribing your medications.
Specialist palliative care teams are made up of different professionals who are experts in palliative care. They work with your GP and primary healthcare team by providing specialist advice and treatment so you receive the care that you need in the place of your choice.
The District Nurse is part of the primary healthcare team. They organise and coordinate home care and can arrange for a range of services to be provided to you if you are receiving care at home. These vary from area to area but can include Marie Curie Nurses, Macmillan Nurses, social services, sitters or prepared meals delivered to you.
The District Nurse can also provide you with information about local services such as carers’ groups, your local hospice, drop-in centres, organisations offering grants, complementary therapy practitioners, interpreting services and other relevant services and benefits.
Marie Curie Cancer Care provides high quality nursing, totally free, to give people with terminal cancer and other illnesses the choice of dying at home, supported by their families. Marie Curie Nurses generally spend several hours at a time in a person’s home providing nursing care and emotional support, often overnight.
Hospices provide expert care for people with life-limiting illnesses. Many offer respite care allowing the person who is ill to stay at the hospice for a short period while the person caring for them takes a break.
Hospices also offer day services, which focus on relieving a person’s symptoms and helping them remain independent for as long as possible. In addition, some hospices have specialist nurses who can provide advice or support for people at home. Ask your GP or District Nurse whether they think a referral would help.
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