A message from our Director of Care, Jeanette McCartney:

The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) may be more severe in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term and life-limiting illnesses. You can read the latest government advice here

It is important in the current and ever-changing coronavirus situation that we take all reasonable steps to protect the well-being of those using our services, our staff and our volunteers. The hospice is also fully committed to supporting patients and families; to achieve this we have taken several measures to protect our clinical services.

We have had to adapt services to take into account the changing situation across the health economy. We have already been impacted by staff reduction due to COVID-19 and also due to recommended social distancing.

Current advice for visiting the hospice and changes to services

The Inpatient Unit, made up of 26 beds currently as our multi-bedded rooms are being utilised as single rooms, remains open as normal and we continue to admit CHC funded patients, patients who are in need of symptom management or are at the end of life. Our patients are being admitted from the community and acute hospitals. The safety & quality of care delivery is our main priority and we are ensuring that staff are equipped with appropriate PPE.

After much consideration we have now made the decision to stop all visiting to our Unit as we need to protect our patients and workforce as best we can during these times of uncertainty. Exceptions may be made if a patient begins to deteriorate; in these circumstances all queries are to be discussed with the nurse in charge.

We appreciate that this a very difficult situation and we are doing our best to enable patients to stay in touch with their loved ones in other ways.

To counterbalance the reduction in Inpatient Unit capacity we have strengthened our community services to enable us to support more patients at home.

Our Community Teams, including Hospice at Home and our Admiral Nurses, are continuing to support patients and prioritising face to face visits. For those patients not requiring a face to face visit at this time they are receiving regular telephone support. All our patients and carers are able to access our 24/7 Advice Line on 01782 344300.

Our Day Services, including drop-in sessions, outpatient appointments, therapy services and clinics, are suspended until further notice. However, the team are in touch with all current service users to discuss individual situations and alternative support or advice during this time.

We understand that these changes may cause significant upset and inconvenience. Please be assured that we have not taken these decisions lightly and are prioritising the safety and well-being of our patients and our workforce.

For further guidance, queries or concerns please call us on 01782 344300 (24 hours a day) or email:

Donated funds are the main source of Dougie Mac income and a short term reduction in income is inevitable given the closure of our retail shops and cancellation of fundraising events. However, our cash flow is strong and other sources of income are unimpeded so the hospice is resilient to short term income falls and much depends on the duration of the pandemic as to whether further clinical services will be affected.

Thank you for your support during this challenging time.

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