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All of the Macmillan Breast Care Nurse Specialists (also called your ‘Key Worker’ or Specialist Nurse) provide telephone support to patients and their carers/families which might include discussing issues around diagnosis, treatment options, symptom problems or access to other healthcare services. Your Breast Care Nurse Specialist will explain what they are able to offer to you.
You will be given the name and contact details of your Breast Care Nurse Specialist usually by the nurse themselves when you meet them or by the doctor in the clinic. You will be given a service information leaflet and a business card which will contain their details
It is not always possible for the Breast Care Nurse Specialist to be at their desk to respond to telephone calls immediately. They may be in a clinic seeing patients or their relatives. They may also have teaching, or other, commitments which mean they are busy elsewhere. Your nurse will advise you of their hours of work. The Breast Care Nurse’s Helpline has an answer phone or voicemail facility and they will encourage you to leave a message for them with your full name, telephone number and sometimes a date of birth is useful for identifying your records quickly. It is useful to have a pen and paper with you when you contact your Breast Care Nurse Specialist so that you can write down any information or alternative contact details.
Your Breast Care Nurse Specialist will advise you of their hours and days of work when you meet them. Not all of the Breast Care Nurse Specialists work full-time and so sometimes your telephone call may be responded to by another nurse within the team. If you have an urgent problem or enquiry it is helpful if you are able to call before 1pm, Monday-Friday so that your concerns can be addressed. Messages left after 1pm may not always be answered until the next working day.
The Breast Care Nurse Specialists work as a team and so messages left for them while they are on holiday or away for another reason will be dealt with by another member of the nursing team. They will ensure that your Breast Care Nurse Specialist is brought up to date on their return.
Some of the Breast Care Nurse Specialists may provide you with their email address as this can sometimes be a useful way ofcontacting them. Your Breast Care Nurse Specialist will advise you if email is a good way of contacting them.
Macmillan Cancer Support
Telephone 0808 808 0000 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 8pm. Freephone).
This information is intended for patients receiving care in Brighton & Hove or Haywards Heath.
The information in this leaflet is for guidance purposes only and is in no way intended to replace professional clinical advice by a qualified practitioner.
Publication Date: January 2022
Review Date: October 2024