29 July
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NHS 24 and Macmillan Cancer Support have developed an online directory of local health and wellbeing services for the people of Scotland referred to as Scotland's Service Directory (SSD)

As part of this development a new, 'Click to be Contacted' tool has been designed to allow individuals to either self-refer or be referred to the services listed within the directory. 

The new function allows for professionals in the voluntary and health sector to instantly refer people affected by cancer into the Macmillan@WestLothian support and information service.

People who are affected by cancer can also self-refer, providing their details and indicating their preferred method of contact, and will be contacted within two working days.

Further information on the SSD can be found online (www.nhsinform.scot/scotlands-service-directory).

The team at Macmillan@West Lothian has continued to provide support via email and over the phone during the Coronavirus outbreak. Whilst face to face meetings still remain unavailable, it is possible to arrange one-to-one appointments via the internet.

Individuals are still able to get in touch with the service without the need of a referral. For cancer information, support, or just someone to talk to contact Macmillan@WestLothian today on 01506 283053 or email MacmillanWestLothian@westlothian.gov.uk

Find out more about the Macmillan@WestLothian service by visiting the West Lothian Council website (https://www.westlothian.gov.uk/macmillan).

Caroline Hall, Project Officer with Macmillan@WestLothian said: "In 2019, over 900 people contacted the Macmillan @ West Lothian service.  As Covid-19 took hold we made the decision to suspend Face to Face contact in person and move this to an online video format.  The assumption was that our email and phone delivery would increase, not only from transference of this service but also due to heightened concern over the current situation. 

"Whilst this has been promoted widely online we appreciate that not everyone is digitally aware and have a real concern that whilst there is obviously a need for our service, people may think that as we are not providing our face to face delivery the service is closed.

To help bridge this gap and make referrals easier Macmillan @ West Lothian is now live on NHS Inform Scotland's Service Directory, along with the 'Click to Be Contacted' functionality. Although currently unable to offer a face to face service we are available online, by telephone and email. Whilst we hope many people are referred to us via the new system, it is important to note that people can still get in touch with us without the need for a referral.

"The Service is able to provide listening ear support, access to information on the non-clinical aspects of living with cancer, and referral to local services. We welcome contact from anyone affected by cancer, including patients, former patients, carers, friends and families."