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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.

Due to the on-going Coronavirus situation the hospice has had to restrict visitors to our Inpatient Unit. Please be assured that the safety and wellbeing of our patients, visitors, staff and volunteers is our top priority which is why these measures have been put in place.

Due to the significant increase in transmission within the community and updated government guidance from Monday 26th October 2020 each patient will be allowed a two hour visit each day from one named relative which must be pre-booked.

In line with government recommendations no more than 6 different individuals can visit a patient per week. If you live in an area that is under Tier 3 restrictions we remind you that you should not visit.

Things to be aware of:

  • Patients in the last days of life will be allowed visiting from two named relatives. Visitors to patients in the last days of life who are not named relatives can visit following discussion with the patient, next of kin and nurse in charge
  • Visitors will need to perform effective hand washing and wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which could include a mask, visor, gloves & apron – provided by Dougie Mac
  • All visitors will have their temperature checked on arrival
  • All visitors will be asked COVID symptom questions and must not visit if unwell or have been contacted by the government Test & Trace service
  • If visitors develop symptoms, they must self-refer to gov.uk or 111
  • If the visitor is in a vulnerable category it is advised that they should not visit
  • If the visitor lives in an area under Tier 3 restrictions they should not visit. Exceptional circumstances should be discussed with the nurse in charge
  • Visitors must consent to providing details for test & trace purposes

We will continue to encourage communication through video consultations, phone calls and the use of WhatsApp/Skype and have our team to facilitate this

Thank you in advance for your cooperation and support during these exceptional and challenging times. If at any time the situation changes we may need to consider restricting the visiting further. This will be reviewed on a daily basis. 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: post@dmhospice.org.uk

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. As our local communities restricted movement earlier this year we took the decision to cancel all our scheduled hospice events including our 5K Run/Walk and Bike Ride. It was with a heavy heart that these decisions were made but the safety of our participants, staff and volunteers is of the upmost importance to us. Our new look fundraising event Step Out will take place in September, you can find out more here

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 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.

You can make a donation HERE.

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.

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