The Macmillan Unit

To enquire about a patient on the ward or to speak to one of our Specialist Palliative Care Sisters please call 0300 019 5470. For more information about the Macmillan Unit, click on the logo above.

Visiting Times

Coronavirus (Covid-19). For the safety of our patients and staff, restrictions are still in place at the Macmillan Unit. For current visiting information please phone the Ward on 0300 019 5470.

The Macmillan Unit has a well appointed visitor’s lounge with wide screen television, a children’s area, and access to a landscaped garden, aviary and Koi pond. Please note that while visiting restrictions remain in place, there will be limited access to public areas. Please telephone for details before visiting.


In 2009 the Macmillan Unit was awarded Practice Development Unit Status, making it a Centre of Excellence. This was based on two years of work, where the Staff developed new & innovative ways to improve patient care. The Macmillan Unit also has a Teaching Wing, where these specialist skills are passed on to local Healthcare Professionals. Macmillan Caring Locally is committed to invest in training programmes to ensure that as many patients as possible will benefit from advanced palliative care.

What We Fund

Community Specialist Palliative Care Sisters

Our nurses in the community visit patients at home or within the unit and hospital.

Affectionately known as the Macmillan Sisters, we have twelve sisters based in the Macmillan Unit and three based in the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.

Specialist Palliative Care Team

Our team of doctors and nurses provide ongoing specialist care to our patients within the Macmillan Unit and out in the community.

The Day Centre

The Day Centre is open Monday to Thursday from 9.30 a.m. until 3.30 p.m. The aim of the Macmillan Day Centre is to improve the quality of the Patient’s life by offering much needed mutual support and understanding from the staff who acknowledge the importance of helping Patients to cope with their illness and the effects of treatment.

The nurses also endeavour to help them deal with any concerns they may have about the future and assist them to live as normal a life as possible, maintaining their independence.

The Day Centre Support Group provides a wide variety of diversional therapy activities. Many talents are revealed and developed giving a real sense of achievement and fulfillment. The group functions for the Patients’ well being and to enable them to participate in activities and benefit from therapies such as Relaxation, Aromatherapy, Physiotherapy and Self Expression.

Patient and Family Support

The Patient & Family Support Team are here to support patients who have a life-limiting illness and who are under the care of the Specialist Palliative Care Team as well as their families, and other people close to them. We also support adults and children experiencing bereavement, and can offer emotional support and counselling; the opportunity to talk to someone outside your social support network, to discuss your worries and fears in a safe, caring and confidential environment.

Access the information hub here for useful resources.

Working closely with the multi-disciplinary team at The Macmillan Unit, our team of trained professionals from different backgrounds – nursing, social work, counselling and specialist volunteers – can work with you to provide a range and combination of flexible support, at a pace that suits you. We provide telephone and video call support, face-to-face appointments (when appropriate), group sessions for patients, carers and bereaved people, and further information/ resources.

We receive referrals from the Macmillan Unit Ward, the Community Specialist Nursing Team and The Hospital Palliative Care Team, and we accept self-referrals for Bereavement Support if your loved one was under our care – up to 18 months after bereavement.  After an initial assessment we may then provide 6 sessions, and review it on an ongoing basis, in partnership with you.

Complementary Therapy

Our Therapists offer a variety of treatments to our patients including aromatherapy and reflexology. Aromatherapy massages provide a wide range of benefits to our patients including easing discomfort, reducing stress and improving wellbeing.

This service is offered to our patients in the Macmillan Unit or at home and is funded by our charity.

Welfare Benefits Adviser

Living with cancer or a life limiting illness can lead to financial hardship. Our Welfare Benefits Advisers provide face to face and telephone advice to patients under our care who need guidance on benefits or are concerned about their finances.

Our Welfare Benefits Advisers are trained to help maximise the income of our patients by applying for benefits and grants they are entitled to.
photo courtesy of zused.


At the Macmillan Unit we are very lucky to have over 100 Volunteers who give up their valuable time to help our Patients.

Our Volunteers help out in many ways including helping the Staff on the wards, bringing Patients in to our Day Centre, giving Art Classes, providing aromatherapy, and companionship.

In 2018 our volunteers were recognised with the highest honour ‘The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service’ 

It is quite clear that the Macmillan Unit could not offer the care that it does without the dedication of our Volunteers.


Our team of physiotherapists and occupational therapists work with patients to help improve their mobility and to maintain their independence and make them feel more comfortable.

Physiotherapists offer a vital and dynamic approach to Rehabilitative Palliative Care. Not only can physiotherapists deliver high quality physical assessments and treatments tailored to an individual’s need, but these can be utilised across a range of advanced diagnoses and uncontrolled symptoms. Their proactive approach, with attention to quality of life and risk management in dual measure, allows them to work in partnership with patients to plan for future challenges and prevent avoidable mobility issues.


‘Macmillan Caring Locally’ built the Chapel at Christchurch Hospital in partnership with Christchurch Hospital League of Friends and the Bournemouth Free Church Council.

Adjacent to the Macmillan Unit, the Chapel provides a haven of peace within the Hospital for all denominations, races and creeds.

The Garden

The Macmillan Unit has a beautiful landscaped garden, which is the envy of all the wards at Christchurch Hospital. It is funded by Macmillan and includes an aviary and a well stocked fish pond with waterfall.

The gentle lapping of the water tumbling over the waterfall, added to chirping sound of tropical birds, helps to make this stunning garden a refuge of tranquility for our Patients and Visitors.