Important Public Information – COVID-19

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.

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.

Whilst some national restrictions have reduced, healthcare settings must continue to ensure the safety of patients, staff, and visitors. However, we are pleased to increase the visiting to our patients following risk assessment which comes into effect from 19th July.

All visitors must:

  • Continue to wear a medical grade face mask when on hospice premises
  • Access local lateral flow tests or home testing and bring confirmation of a negative test with them each time they visit
  • Leave the room when asked whilst we provide care for your relative/friend
  • Perform effective hand washing and wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), provided by the hospice which includes a mask, gloves & apron
  • Answer COVID symptom questions and must not visit if unwell or been contacted by the government Test & Trace service
  • If a visitor develop symptoms, they must self-refer to or 111
  • Visitors must consent to providing details for test & trace purposes
  • Light meals and snacks are available upon request if you are staying for longer periods
  • Children & pets may visit by arrangement but must be accompanied by a responsible person.

Patients approaching or in the last days of life

We will support flexible visiting by up to 4 people at a time. Patients and families should coordinate who will visit and when. All visitors must report to reception. Visitors can stay for as long as they feel necessary including overnight. Other important visitors should liaise with the patient, family & nursing team.

For all other patients

We will support visiting between 11am & 8pm. There should be no more than two visitors at the same time. These no longer need to be pre-booked. Patients and families should coordinate who will visit and when, ensuring no more than two visitors at a time. All visitors must sign in at reception.

Of course, if you have any questions or concerns please speak to your Community Nurse Specialist, Hospice Nurse or Hospital Palliative Care Team.

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 usual Day Therapy Services are suspended and will be reviewed in January 2021. However, the team are in touch with all current service users to discuss individual situations and alternative support or advice during this time.

In August and September we will be reintroducing outpatient appointments for lymphoedema, physiotherapy and advance care planning. Complementary Therapies remain suspended and will be reviewed in January 2021.

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.

Like all charities in these uncertain times Dougie Mac are concerned the impact the current situation will have on our income. We rely on 75% of annual income being generated from voluntary donations.

We are extremely grateful for all of the support we get from the local community whether that is from donations of time, money or services. However in this time of financial uncertainty we urge supporters who are able to, to support where they can. You can make a donation which would be gratefully received, especially if you could commit to a regular amount  to provide us some certainty in the months ahead, even as a little as £3 month would make a real difference.

We politely ask that you do not visit the hospice to pay in any donations until further notice.

If you wish to make a donation we hope you can still support us by making a one-off donation online HERE, calling our fundraising team on 01782 344300 or sending a cheque payable to Douglas Macmillan Hospice. Our address is Douglas Macmillan Hospice, Barlaston Road, Stoke-on-Trent, ST3 3NZ.

For cash donations; we recommend you pay the money into your own back account and then use one of the above methods to transfer funds to Dougie Mac.

We know being there for the patients and families is of paramount importance and we want to make sure we are still there for them at a time when they need us most. Thank you for your unwavering support, no matter how big or small your gifts are they really will make a difference.

Please click HERE for the latest information about our charity shops and furniture collection services.

While other areas of fundraising are being affected the continued support from our Lottery players is more vital than ever before. Thank you for ensuring the hospice continues to receive this much relied on income.

The weekly lottery draw is continuing to take place, players who pay through the bank and via cheque payments will not be affected. If you paid by cash collection at your door you should have received a letter confirming we are no longer collecting door to door for the safety of our players and workforce. If you haven’t already done so but wish to make alternative arrangements for your payment or you do not currently play our lottery and would like to support Dougie Mac you can sign up via direct debit online today here or call the Lottery Team on 01782 344321.

Thank you once again for your continued support.