A bedroom is available in the clinic for those who may prefer privacy or wish to rest during their treatment. A treatment room is also available for patients who require privacy for specialised procedures, such as Hickman line maintenance.
If you have cancer yourself, care for a relative or friend with cancer, work as a health professional, or simply want to know more about any aspect of cancer, please feel free to drop by for a chat.
You do not need to make an appointment. The hours are Monday to Friday from 10am - 4pm and on Tuesday evenings from 7pm - 8.30pm.
The Information and Support Centre is located within the Macmillan Centre, which is situated on the ground floor of the hospital (turn left once you enter the main entrance). We are second on the left as you enter the Macmillan Centre.
The Cancer Information and Support Centre is managed by an experienced cancer nurse, assisted by trained volunteers, many of whom have a personal experience of cancer.
Patients, carers, relatives and friends are welcome to drop into the calm and welcoming centre for a friendly chat and a cup of coffee, somewhere you can get information or share concerns confidentially.
The Centre has information on all aspects of living with cancer and its treatments. This includes a comprehensive range of leaflets, books and DVDs. A TV/DVD player is available for use in the Centre by patients, relatives, or staff. The staff will be happy to help direct you to the information you require.
The Centre also has computers with Internet access and we will be happy to guide you through recommended websites on cancer and other health-related issues. We can also give you a list of web addresses to take home, or we can search the web on your behalf.
The quiet room can be used for anyone who needs a quiet space away from the hospital buzz and for private conversations.
A variety of groups and courses are run from the centre, including stress management and relaxation classes and a Cancer Support Group.
We can direct you to self-help and support groups, or introduce you to someone who has been through a similar experience to yourself. Professional counselling and psychological support can also be arranged at the Centre.
A benefits advisor (from the Support 4 Life Team) holds regular clinics in the resource room. The clinics run on Wednesday and Friday mornings, from 10.00-12.00. The advisor can be contacted at other times and will also visit you at home if you prefer.
Support 4 Life also has benefits advice clinics in:
3 St Andrew Street, Castle Douglas DG7 1DE
Tel: 01556 502190
23 Lewis Street, Stranraer DG9 7AB
Tel: 01776 889435 / 01776 706355
81-85 Irish Street, Dumfries DG1 2PG
Tel: 01387 252456 / 01387 268 286
19A Bank Street, Annan DG12 6AA
Tel: 01461 206453 / 01461 201012
The Manager of the Information and Support Centre is assisted by a team of trained volunteers, many of whom have had a personal experience of cancer.
The Centre also has a number of associated specialists and other specialists are available on request:
- a social worker
- a psychologist
- a benefits advisor
- a lymphoedema specialist
- a physiotherapist
- a dietician
- a breast prosthesis specialist
Access to the Alexandra Unit is through the Macmillan Centre reception area. The Macmillan Centre is situated on the ground floor of the hospital and can be reached by turning left once you enter the main entrance.
Most patients require only a short stay in the Alexandra unit before being sent home with the on-going support of a Macmillan nurse. This specialist palliative care nurse works as part of the full team caring for patients within their own homes. A minority of patients do choose to stay within the Alexandra Unit for care at the end of their illness.
At all times, the unit staff work to provide excellent care that supports each patient's individual needs and wishes.
Great care is taken to ensure a warm and friendly atmosphere throughout the unit. The unit is bright and airy, and volunteers ensure fresh flowers are always displayed.
The unit has eight single bedrooms, with en suite shower and toilet facilities. There is a TV in each room. Access to the outside terrace is via a patio door in each room allowing patients to enjoy the benefits of the outdoors 'weather permitting'. The patio door allows pets to be brought in to visit patients in the unit by arrangement with the nursing staff.
Meals are provided at times that will suit the individual needs of each patient. Relatives are encouraged to use the ward kitchen for light refreshments.
There are no limits to visiting, however it is important to remember that having visitors can be very tiring. Relatives are welcome to stay overnight, either with the patient or in a separate room. Children are welcome to visit and staff are happy to address any questions they may wish to raise.
A variety of day rooms allow relatives and friends the opportunity to take a break from visiting without having to leave the unit.
Patients who wish to smoke have access to a smoke room. An extractor fan ensures the smoke does not filter into the rest of the building.
An added luxury of the inpatient unit is the large bath, which allows patients to enjoy the benefits of a warm soak and has the option of 'hydrosound'. This provides a stream of tingling bubbles, which pass through the water, like an electric Jacuzzi. Patients may use a special chair to access the bath without having to climb in and out.
The central courtyard has a lovely garden area and dolphin feature that can be enjoyed by patients and their visitors during their stay.