Offering a Holistic Package of Care...

Having a serious illness can impact on many areas of life. In the palliative stage of illness, patients and their families may experience social, physical, psychological and spiritual pain and feelings of fear, anxiety, anger and disappointment.

Our wellbeing team can help with a range of support services and techniques to help alleviate some of the worries and concerns associated with a palliative illness; helping to make things a little more manageable.

Both inpatient and community patients as well as patients main carer have access to our wellbeing services.

Social Work Service

Our team of trained Social Workers can guide and support our patients and their families in a variety of ways, including:

  • Individual support and advice
  • Coping with change
  • Helping with benefits advice and other financial resources
  • Arranging practical support
  • Comforting family, friends and children of patients
  • Liaising with and referring to other organisations
  • Choice and decision making


  • Carer and Patient Support Service
  • Advance Care Planning
  • Counselling and Bereavement
  • The Wellbeing Centre

Spiritual, Pastoral and Religious Care Service

As well as caring for the medical needs of our patients, we also want to offer assistance in the non-medical aspects their illness. We call this holistic care.

All staff at our Hospice are trained in listening to and caring for your needs and we have our own dedicated team of spiritual, pastoral and religious carers who will be happy to see you at your request.

As part of our initial getting to know you we will, with your permission, ask you some questions about what’s important to you and where you find strength.

What is SPARCS?


Spiritual Healthcare is concerned with who you are, what makes you uniquely you and what’s important; especially in times of illness and loss.

We can support you with relaxation and meditation techniques, bringing calm and relaxation to aid your care. We have created a range of relaxation and meditation videos available on YouTube allowing you to access Spiritual support whenever you need it.

Relaxation and Meditation Playlist


Pastoral Healthcare is non-religious and non-spiritual and is concerned with who you are and what’s important to you, especially in times of illness and loss.

Our team can talk to you and your family about:

  • What you value
  • What gives you strength
  • What brings you joy
  • What gives you comfort


Religious Healthcare is about making sure that any religious needs you may have are addressed as part of your care, whatever your faith.

We are committed to ensuring that patients from all  faiths, cultures and backgrounds feel comfortable and reassured in our care and we welcome your own faith leader to the hospice should you wish to see someone authorised to perform a religious ritual or service.

The Spiritual Space

The Spiritual Space at our adult site is open all day and can be used for peace, reflection, quiet, prayer or any activity which helps bring comfort and peace. It’s also where you’ll find sacred and inspirational books including the Bible, Quran, Bhagadvad Gita and Humanist writings alongside items such as prayer mats, crucifixes/crosses and a range CDs; all of which can be used in any of the quiet or patient rooms.

Our Spiritual Space is located just off our adult hospice reception.

Sacred and Inspirational Texts
Faith Contacts Around Stoke-on-Trent
Prayer and Reflection Aids
Information on Faiths
Contact Us
Carer and Patient Support Service

Emotional and Practical Support

Living with a life-limiting illness is hard on everyone. At Dougie Mac, we support patients, their carers and family members not just in the hospice but in their own homes too.

The Carer & Patient Support Service supports people to live as fully and independently as possible and to help build their confidence and gain control of their own lives.

The service offers practical support within the home, emotional support face to face or over the phone and an opportunity for carers and patients to discuss their own needs. Like many Dougie Mac services, the Carer and Patient Support Service relies on a team of trained volunteers.

How We Can Help You


Dougie Mac Buddies offer emotional support and companionship to patients, their carers and family. By visiting weekly or fortnightly a Buddy becomes a friendly face, spending time in the patient’s home. A visit could be a simple chat and cup of tea, getting involved with shared interests, offering a break for the carer and patient, to allow some time to enjoy some ‘me time’. Buddies can also provide a helping hand, for example, support with light housework, gardening, laundry, ironing and cooking, collect shopping or enjoy a trip to out.

Buddies do not offer clinical, medical or personal care and are not responsible for administering medication.

Enquire about Volunteering


Our telephone befriending volunteers provide regular calls to patients, carers and our bereaved carers. We aim to help reduce the feeling of isolation and loneliness offering social interaction and emotional support. Having one person ringing you regularly seems really simple, however having one person to talk to, one person who listens to you can make a big difference.

Our telephone befrienders can communicate either by telephone calls or if suitable via free video calling programmes, like  Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp etc.

Enquire about Volunteering


When patients and carers are unable to attend medical appointments by their own means our volunteer drivers offer non- emergency transport to and from appointments.

Our drivers provide a friendly face, listening ear and will help to put you at ease during the transport. The drivers provide a personal touch to brighten the day as they transport you to and from your appointment, they will assist you to get to where you need to be and back home again safely.

Enquire about Volunteering

Carer Wellbeing Group

Dougie Mac’s fortnightly carer support group is a small group of carers supporting people with a life-limiting illness. Being a carer can be positive and rewarding, but at the same time a carer may need some time for themselves. The group offers a chance to meet others in a similar situation, gain support, share experiences and advice. A chance to talk about any aspects of your experiences. The group offers you a chance to talk openly and discuss freely what concerns you have in a safe environment.

The group runs every other Thursday 1pm-2.30pm. Booking is essential. Please contact Pat Hamilton on 01782 344300.

Bereaved Carers Friendship Group

After the loss of a close loved one, many carers feel lost, disconnected and isolated from their friends and community. Talking to others who know what it is like to be bereaved can help former carers grieve and realise that they’re not alone. Our bereaved carers friendship group provides a safe space for former carers to talk, listen and share their experience of loss in order to re-build a sense of purpose and improve mental wellbeing.

This group runs every other Thursday 1pm-3.30pm. Booking is essential. Please contact Pat Hamilton on 01782 344300.

Advance Care Planning

What Matters To You?

Advance Care Planning is all about giving you the chance to tell others about you and your wishes should you lose capacity or be unable to tell anyone.

It’s a voluntary process and involves a series of discussions that help you explore your personal preferences and choices for your future care and treatment.

This will help people involved in your health and welfare like doctors, nurses, family and friends to act in accordance with your wishes.

Planning For Your Future Care

The Advance Care Planning service will help you to explore the options open to you.

This can include supporting you to:

-Write an Advance Care Plan
-Write a Respect document
-Write an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment
-Register a Lasting Power of Attorney

This service is free of charge to patients of Dougie Mac.

Frequently Asked Questions

Counselling and Bereavement

Understanding Loss and Bereavement

There may be many adjustments to be made after the death of someone close and it may take time to work through your loss and feel that you can look to the future again.

Everyday living can feel like a burden where, as well as sorrow, you may experience physical symptoms including sleeplessness, lack of concentration, anger, low mood and anxiety. However challenging it may be to discuss your feelings, it can be a relief to share how you are feeling.

Our team of qualified and student counsellors are trained to understand loss and bereavement and can gently support you through this difficult time.

How We Can Support You


A Bereavement Counsellor can call you on a regular basis to listen and talk to you about your difficulties offering support in the comfort of your own home or a private space of your choice.


We can offer online one-to-one counselling over Zoom. You will need an internet connection at home to be able to access support in this way and a device such as computer/laptop/tablet/smart phone that you can download the Zoom software.


We can arrange face-to-face bereavement counselling for you with one of our Bereavement Counsellors. One to one support takes place at the hospice where you will be taken to one of our comfortable rooms where we hope to provide a safe and supportive environment to listen and talk to you about your difficulties.

The Wellbeing Centre

Wellbeing Centre Programme

Our vision is to provide an accessible wellbeing programme and centre, striving for an inclusive, informative and beneficial service to our Dougie Mac patients, their carers and families, and external partners supporting people with a life-limiting or palliative illness.

If you’d like to learn more about our wellbeing centre or attend one of our sessions, please contact us:

Tel – Wellbeing Centre Reception: 01782 969 606

Tel – Wellbeing Programme Coordinator: 01782 344 312

Download our 2024 wellbeing programme

Download Files

 “Hospice care isn’t just about dying – for us, Dougie Mac helped enhance my Dad’s quality of life and independence.”

-Son of Patient

Hospice Support and Therapies


As part of our holistic package of care, we offer complementary therapies which are tailored to our patients based on their individual needs. Complementary therapies are used alongside traditional medicine and healthcare practices to help treat symptoms and manage pain associated with palliative conditions.

Complementary therapies use the human touch to bring comfort, aid sleep, relieve stress and boost mood. Examples of complementary therapies available to patients and their families at Dougie Mac include Aromatherapy, Reflexology, Massage and Acupuncture (may not be appropriate for all patients)


Our Lymphoedema Nurses provide treatment to allow our patients to manage their Lymphoedema symptoms and remain independent at home.

Patients are supported with an individual treatment plan to reduce their swelling, fluid build-up and associated discomfort.

The team also offer advice on how patients can manage the condition at home as part of their everyday routine including the use of compression garments, massage techniques and gentle exercise. Our Lymphoedema service empowers patients to take control of their condition and re-build their self-esteem.


Physiotherapy can help to rebuild and maintain strength and mobility as well as aid good circulation. Regular physio can also support the prevention of chest infections and pressure sores.

Our Physiotherapy team advises patients on how to maintain their independence with a tailored treatment plan including balance training, falls prevention and management, strengthening exercises and moving and handling assessments.

Inpatients and Outpatients are both welcome to use the specialist hospice gym equipment by appointment and under the supervision of our team.


Look Good Feel Better is a cancer support charity that provides free wellbeing workshops, virtually and in hospitals and cancer centres across the UK.

Each two hour session, led by trained experts, is full of techniques and tips that include skin care and make up application.

These sessions aim to address many of the physical changes caused by cancer treatments to enable the person to feel more confident and stronger in themselves.

Groups are kept small to allow participants to meet others who may be facing the same issues, to focus on themselves rather than their diagnosis… and there is always some laughter involved!

All workshops are free of charge with all make up and equipment provided, along with tea/coffee. Anyone with a cancer diagnosis, at any stage and up to one year since treatment has ended are welcome at the groups.

Book Your Session Here

24/7 Patient Advice Line: 01782 344300

The advice line is staffed by Palliative Care Nurse Specialists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.