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Patient and Family Support

The Patient and Family Support Team are a group of St. Michael’s Hospice staff and volunteers offering practical, emotional, spiritual and social support to patients, their families and friends.

Who can access the Patient and Family Support Team?

The Patient and Family Support services are available to patients already known to St. Michael’s Hospice, their family, friends, and carers.

Chaplaincy Service

The Chaplaincy Service offers listening, emotional and spiritual support for patients and their families and friends on the Inpatient Unit and in the community. We are there to explore questions that arise when affected by a life-limiting illness, or just to have a chat about things that matter to you. We are available in a totally non-judgmental way for people of all beliefs.

Complementary Therapy

Complementary therapies are gentle treatments used alongside conventional treatment in order to relieve stress and tension and to aid relaxation. These therapies can provide emotional support and may also help with the relief of physical symptoms, enhancing wellbeing and quality of life. Our Complementary Therapists offer treatments on the Inpatient Unit and in our outpatient facility, The Turner Centre.
Therapies we offer may include:

  • Massage – Massage involves a variety of gentle, soothing techniques along with deeper movements to help with relaxation, muscle pain and tension.

  • Reflexology – Reflexology involves a specific type of massage to the feet. It is based on the principle that points on the feet relate to different parts of the body and working these reflex areas helps aid and clear imbalanced within the body.

  • Indian Head Massage – This treatment focuses on the neck, shoulders, arms, and head. It can be carried out through clothing and can help relieve tension in these areas.

  • Reiki – Reiki is a type of energy healing and one of the main aims is to help you relax.  A reiki practitioner puts their hands on or near your clothed body and aims to change and balance the ‘energy fields’ in and around your body.


Our Counselling service is offered to all those that are affected by a life-limiting illness and for those that have to cope with grief after loss. We can provide one-to-one counselling sessions where patients and relatives can talk about their experience and what’s important to them.

Our counsellors are registered with the appropriate professional bodies and will work with you in a confidential setting.

Chris Bagan, Patient and Family Support Lead, offers more insights into the work of the team in the video. She is joined by colleagues Jill Buxton and Dominic Thornton.

Learn more about the services offered by the Patient and Family Support Team

Further Information

If you feel you would benefit from any of the services offered by our Patient and Family Support Services team, or are interested in attending one of our Bereavement Evenings or Coffee Mornings, or our Support For Carers meeting, please contact us on 01256 848892 or email