VIDEO: Douglas Macmillan Hospice at 40- Chief proud of developments
MICHELLE Roberts is clearly very proud of the multi-million pound organisation which she has the privilege of running.
She joined the Douglas Macmillan Hospice as its first Chief Executive back in 1996 and since then has overseen exponential growth and change.
Last year more than 2,500 people and their families from across North Staffordshire received care and support from the charity. The fact is that more than 50 per cent of people with a life-limiting illness with a limited prognosis will receive care from staff at the Dougie Mac.
Michelle, pictured, said: "The continuing success of the DMH is thanks mainly to the generosity, loyalty and commitment of local people over four decades. We are very fortunate as a charity that we are very close to the hearts of the people of North Staffordshire."
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Michelle joined the hospice from a health service background.
She said: "I came from the NHS – working for a hospital which had a budget of £150 million. What I discovered was that although it has a much smaller budget the challenges of running a hospice are different and, in some cases, more complex.
"There have been many changes over the years. For example, the number of staff we employ has probably doubled during my time here. One of the biggest changes has been in terms of palliative care. We are lucky to now have three consultants and their input really has changed the focus of care and treatment.
"It has helped us to demonstrate that we are not just a cancer charity and that we are able to help patients with a variety of ailments – such as heart disease."
It costs more than £9m a year to run all of the Dougie Mac's services and the charity currently employs around 250 staff at its base in the south of the city and out in the wider community.
In addition the charity has the support of more than 920 volunteers – more than half of whom also help to raise funds.
When Michelle joined the Blurton-based charity it had a reputation as 'that place where people with cancer go to die'.
It is a perception that Michelle and her staff have worked hard to change over the last 16 years and they continue to do so.