Successful launch of North Manchester Macmillan Palliative Care Support Service

NMMPCSS launch web
Successful launch of North Manchester Macmillan Palliative Care Support Service
05 October 2015

More than 130 clinicians, allied health professionals, patients and carers attended the launch of the new palliative care service for North Manchester.

A panel discussion, films, presentations and table discussions made up the launch of the North Manchester Macmillan Palliative Care Support Service (NMMPCSS) at the Irish World Heritage Centre, Cheetham Hill on September 21.

Broadcaster Andy Crane chaired the event, held to communicate how the integrated ‘one team’ community service was developed and how it is working in practice. 

The £560k service is part of the Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership (MCIP) and has been developed through a partnership between Macmillan Cancer Support, the Manchester Clinical Commissioning Groups, The Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust, and St Ann’s Hospice.

Chris Mathewson NMMPCSS Programme Manager said: “The launch was highly successful in getting across how the extended team, working increased hours, is managing to share expertise daily and respond more quickly and effectively to patients.

“It was fantastic to hear from one of the patients, Michael Beswick, that the new service is having such a positive impact on his care."

Find out more by watching the NMMPCSS film here:

Contact  the NMMPCSS 24 hours a day on 0161 202 8920


The NMMPCSS team provides:

  • Round-the-clock telephone advice, as well as visits and care in the home
  • Dedicated professionals working together with patients and carers – seven days a week from 8am to 8pm
  • An open referral system for patients, carers and professionals. (Patients can refer themselves to the service through the telephone helpline on is 0161 202 8920 or email
  • Help with managing troublesome problems such as pain, sickness, breathlessness, and psychological and emotional support
  • Ways for people to talk about what is important to them in their care. (We want to work with them to fulfil those choices and decisions as far as we can. This may include staying at home rather than having to go into hospital at the end of life)
  • Extra help at home when things are difficult, bringing support to carers

Dr Iain Lawrie Lead Clinician for Specialist Palliative and End of Life Care, The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust: “We know from research from elsewhere and that we’re currently involved with in Manchester that, if palliative care teams are involved earlier with patients, then that results in better quality of life, better pain control and better symptom control.

Victoria Thorne, Lead Nurse, North Manchester Community Services (PAHT) said: “The new extended service will greatly enhance end of life care and support for patients and families in North Manchester.  It has been a pleasure working with staff and our patient representatives who have been enthusiastic and motivated in helping develop and implement this new model.

 Maggie Ilkovics, District Nurse (PAHT) said: “Under the new service we have a daily handover meeting that allows us to meet face to face and bounce ideas around as a team and problem-solve in one room.

“I love this service because as a District Nurse I feel much more supported and less stressed.”

Karen Bridge Macmillan Speech & Language Therapist (PAHT) said: “The daily handover has made us really effective. It’s opened lines of communication that existed beforehand, but it was difficult because we had to chase one another. Now we have the full range of people in one room who can offer advice and exchange ideas.

“Assistant practitioners can do multiple things in one visit now. They can do speech therapy and also review pain medication and also do a dietetic review in one visit after discussing the patient’s needs at the daily handover.”

“The patients get a better service. They get specialist input, and they also get the continuity of care through the Assistant Health Practitioners.

Michael Beswick, aged 72, receives palliative care from the NMMPCSS after being diagnosed with terminal prostate cancer.

Michael said: “I feel like half the nursing fraternity are looking after me at the moment because every which way I turn there is somebody who specialises in something else. Yesterday someone came out to talk to me about walking sticks for example.

“They’ve installed a lifeline alarm system. That was one of the things discussed at the meeting and within three days it was in.

 “I think the most significant point in realising where the team was coming from was when my GP arranged a Multi Disciplinary Team meeting and invited my family to join in as well.  It was a very intense meeting. Everybody was listening and they were all putting in their contribution at the right time and at the right pitch.

“It was only afterwards that I realised that everybody there was caring for me.”

 “I’m not going to sit here and just curl up and die. I’m looking for ways to keep going and so far they’ve managed that very well.”

The North Manchester Macmillan Palliative Care Support Service referral line is 0161 202 8920 or email


Contact: Michelle O’Leary Communications Lead

Macmillan Cancer Improvement Partnership

M: 07787 375 172


Together Macmillan Cancer Support, the Manchester CCGs, St Ann's Hospice, Manchester hospitals and Manchester City Council are working in partnership to deliver a more compassionate and effective standard of care for people affected by cancer.