Our Specialist Palliative Care Nursing Service consists of Clinical Nurse Specialists (CNS). They are an outreach team who work in the community covering Morecambe, Heysham, Carnforth, Lancaster and Garstang. Some CNS patients may have more complex palliative care needs for short or prolonged periods of time. They may require specialist assessment, advice, care and support from professionals who specialise in palliative care.
CNS’s are health professionals who have completed specialist palliative care courses in subjects such as pain and symptom management and psychological support. They also support other care professionals providing general palliative care- the team works alongside a patient’s GP, District Nurse or hospital team.
CNS’s develop a plan to manage symptoms and deal with the impact of an illness – this may include recommending changes to medication, suggesting other treatment options if appropriate or discussing referral to other support services. They also help people and their families understand what to expect of the future and think about what is important to now and in the future; this is often referred to as ‘Advance Care Planning’.
In April 2018 St John’s Hospice took over the employment of the community Palliative Clinical nurse Specialist team. These are the nurses who are usually the first to visit once a patient has been told their condition is no longer curable. Many people refer to these nurses as Macmillan nurses but it is important to note that in north Lancashire these nurses are directly employed and funded by St John’s Hospice. We do not have the funds to pay for compelling TV advertising to tell you this, so by including this information on our website we hope our community will be aware of how these nurses are funded locally – by our wonderful community!