Cancer support service gets boost in new DGRI

Cancer patients across Dumfries and Galloway are benefiting from an upgraded, one-stop-support base at the state-of-the-art Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.

The recent move to the new hospital provided an opportunity for the long-established support service to relocate.

Located on the ground floor, the centre was refurbished thanks to £50,000 funding from Macmillan Cancer Support. The main reception and quiet room, for example, have benefited from a total refit and access is easy with the centre being so near to the front door of the hospital.

Claire Drummond, Service Manager, says: “We are absolutely delighted with these first class premises to offer the best support to cancer patients and their families locally.
“The centre’s philosophy is to ensure that those affected by cancer have access to good quality, comprehensive and appropriate information and support.
“A large proportion of those who access the centre are people who have a cancer diagnosis. Information and support is also available for those who are caring for someone with cancer and for people who just want to know more about the illness.  
“The centre is also a resource for health professionals and is regularly used by the Cancer Clinical Nurse Specialists based in the oncology department. 
“We hold a comprehensive range of leaflets and booklets on all aspects of living with cancer. Guidance can be provided to access ‘safe’ and relevant information from the internet whilst lists of up to date websites are available.
 “There is also a small library which is currently being updated.”

Having run the department for the past five years, Claire brings extensive knowledge and experience to the role. Claire’s background is as a community Macmillan Clinical Nurse Specialist and she is on hand to provide good quality, comprehensive and appropriate information and support.

Claire is supported by a team of trained volunteers, many of whom have personal experience of cancer or of caring for a family member with cancer.

 She says: “Those using the centre don’t need to make an appointment as we operate as a ‘drop in’ facility Monday to Friday from 10 am to 4 pm.
“Different support groups run on a regular basis, and patients can be signposted for complementary therapies provided by visiting practitioners who offer safe and gentle massage for people with cancer.
“They can also be introduced to Macmillan Cancer Support’s ‘Move More’ programme which is available across the region offering various exercise programmes for people with cancer.
“As a team, we are keen to promote the facility within the new build and welcome patients, relatives and staff who may benefit from the facilities and service it offers.”

Janice Preston, Macmillan’s Head of Services in Scotland, says: “A cancer diagnosis brings with it all kinds of questions and uncertainty for patients, their families and friends.

“It affects every area of people’s lives and having access to information and emotional support at this stressful time is vital.
“We know Claire and her team of volunteers have made a huge difference to the lives of people affected by cancer in Dumfries and Galloway and are delighted to help them continue providing this much needed support.”