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Consultant role bridges the gap

Little is known about how many people in the UK have both cancer and dementia, and support for patients is lacking. Macmillan Cancer Support and The Christie NHS Foundation Trust have created a new nursing role to improve service provision for people with this joint diagnosis and understanding of the issues they face.

The risks of developing cancer and dementia increase as people get older, but there is little research into how many people in the UK are living with this joint diagnosis.

According to the charity Macmillan Cancer Support, there is often poor recognition and understanding of the issues faced by people with both cancer and dementia, and support is woefully lacking.

Lorraine Burgess (pictured right): ‘Dementia is often blamed when patients become distressed, when they might be in pain or discomfort from the cancer’

Picture credit: John Houlihan

To address this, Macmillan joined forces with The Christie NHS Foundation Trust in Manchester, one of the largest cancer treatment centres in Europe, to create a new nursing role. The first Macmillan dementia consultant nurse in the UK, Lorraine Burgess, was appointed in July last year.

A dementia care specialist, Ms Burgess is passionate about bridging the gap

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