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Nightingale Macmillan day unit

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NMDU creative work


Entrance 23, Royal Derby Hospital


The Nightingale Macmillan day unit (NMDU) is a specialist palliative care or hospice day centre. It is located on the ground floor (level 1) of the Royal Derby Hospital and has a dedicated entrance (23). NMDU moved from its old home on London Road to its new purpose built premises in May 2009.

NMDU provides day care to adults who have a life-limiting illness, including incurable cancer and also non-cancer illnesses that are advanced and progressing e.g. motor neurone disease, advanced heart failure.

NMDU is part of the wider specialist palliative care service.


Benefits of attending NMDU:

  • social environment supported by trained nursing staff
  • individual and group activities tailored to individual needs
  • creative activities e.g. craftwork, painting
  • supported physical activities: occupational and physiotherapy, games
  • opportunity to talk about worries and concerns
  • symptom advice
  • support for carers
  • complementary therapy
  • respite from the day to day pressures

NMDU provides day care on:

  • Monday
  • Wednesday
  • Friday

Patients attend between 10am and 3pm, lunch and refreshments are provided.

Following referral an initial informal visit will be organised. Transport arrangements will be discussed. A patient’s needs are assessed on the first visit in order to plan the appropriate care. Most patients attend once a week. Re-assessment occurs after six weeks to ensure a patient is benefiting and to see if continued attendance is appropriate.

Medical students attend NMDU to gain palliative care experience. If you would prefer not to be seen by a medical student, please inform the nursing team.

NMDU follows the Trust's no-smoking policy.

Multi-disciplinary team
The day care team consists of:

  • nursing team including registered nurses and care assistants
  • creative worker
  • volunteers
  • complementary therapist
  • chaplain
  • physiotherapist, occupational therapist (OT) and / or therapy assistant


Other Information

Day unit clinic and medical assessments

  • NMDU is a social environment and so a doctor is not present. Medical emergencies however will be managed.
  • all new patients will be seen by a doctor in the day unit clinic (Wednesdays) for an initial assessment. Further follow-up appointments will be arranged as needed.
  • physiotherapy and OT assessments are also provided in the day unit clinic for patients attending NMDU and patients referred from other areas of the specialist palliative care service.


Referral process (for healthcare professionals)

Referrals are accepted from any team member with the permission of the patient's GP.
Telephone: 01332 786041 / 787590

Referral details will be taken by the team leader and discussed at the multi-disciplinary team meeting. If accepted the patient will be contacted to arrange the initial visit. If not, the referrer will be informed.

There are a limited number of places at NMDU. If all the places are full the patients name will be added to a waiting list. When places become available patients will be prioritised according to need.