Patient and Family Support

Saint Catherine’s offers a range of services for patients and families aimed at providing emotional, psychological, and pastoral care support.

Social Work

Specialist Palliative Care Social Workers assess the social, practical and emotional needs of patients, families and carers, and then arrange appropriate support and care.

We work on the In-patient Unit, often assisting with discharge planning; offering individual appointments in the Wellbeing Centre outpatients clinics on a Monday morning, as well as seeing patients during the full day sessions on Wednesdays and Thursdays and supporting the community nursing teams.

We can help with many practical issues, such as finding resources in the community – including personal care at home, residential and nursing home placements, and with housing problems, advocacy, financial or legal issues, and support for carers. We can also provide emotional support to patients and carers, and assist in helping families to communicate more effectively.

Our Social Work team are now running a ‘Caring for the Carer’ programme, called Carers Understanding of Practical Support, or C.U.P.S, if you would like to know more about the programme you can download the leaflet here.


Pastoral Care

Our Pastoral Care Coordinator offers support to patients and their families recognising that in times of major illness life can be both stressful and challenging – not only for our patients but also for the people close to them.

Recognising that not everyone is religious, pastoral care integrates spiritual support in being alongside people who are striving to cope with all kinds of losses. It incorporates celebrating life and it has a part in identifying purpose and meaning in life.

Our Pastoral Care Coordinator is supported by volunteers, and connections with local faith leaders. She leads the regular Pause for Thought services at the hospice, as well as the annual Service of Remembrance and Light up a Life services in the community.


Our Specialist Palliative Care Counsellors are available to support patients, family members and carers with any of the challenges and difficulties that arise whether a patient is still receiving treatment (such as from Oncology or Neurology) or just being supported with palliative care, or end-of-life care.

What we offer

Our counsellors provide opportunity and support for having sometimes uncomfortable conversations about difficult issues. They can also help by suggesting strategies for coping – such as how to respond to powerful emotions, and making sense of one’s experience. Most importantly, our counsellors can help companion patients, families and carers through their difficulties and challenges, offering experienced and compassionate support.

Mindfulness and Meditation

Our counselling service may offer opportunities for nurturing meditation and mindfulness practices that can be very helpful not only in achieving calm and managing anxiety, but also in: managing difficult thoughts, living more fully in the present moment (rather than being preoccupied with a fearful future), finding meaning that can counteract fear, and feeling less alone and isolated.

If you would like to try meditation at home, our team has produced a ‘meditation toolbox’, which can help guide you through the process, with different meditations to try depending on your needs.

You can access the meditation toolbox here

If you would prefer to listen to short audio recordings that accompany the meditation toolbox, you can do so here.

We have three longer mindfulness audio recordings that you can listen to here on our website, we have a 15 minute clip on short breathing meditation, a 25 minute clip on stillness and inner refuge meditation and a 28 minute clip on guided visualisation.

This ‘Meditation Toolbox’ has been written and recorded  by Barbara Payman. While none of the meditations are original  – they come from a variety of sources which we gratefully acknowledge – many have been developed/ adapted for current purposes.


Advance Care Planning

An important part of our work is helping people look ahead at what the future may hold, and make plans based on what they want. There are a number of tools available to help with this and we have included a couple of them here. If you have any questions or would like to discuss any of these issues further please speak with one of our staff and we will help you.

Click here to view a quick video on Advance Care Planning 

Prefer to read? Take a read through ‘Planning for your future care‘  

Bereavement Support

What we offer

Everyone referred to us for Bereavement Support, is first assessed by a member of our team to determine their individual needs; after which, we are able to suggest the most useful and appropriate option for them.  These include:

Living through Loss Course

This course runs weekly over six weeks and is designed to be both supportive and informative.  The group provides participants with an opportunity to share their experiences and meet others in a similar situation.

The course has an educative focus where information, ideas and strategies are discussed, helping participants to go on to cope without special assistance.

Groups are kept quite small so that they are accommodating of people that might feel uncomfortable with the idea of being in a larger group.

Monthly Bereavement Group

This group is designed to provide a confidential, casual, and supportive environment for people to talk about and hear from others concerning their experiences of mourning loss.

The group helps build confidence in coping so that individuals can settle into a healthy journey of mourning. Participants are invited to attend twelve group meetings.

One-to-one counselling

One-to-one counselling is also available for people experiencing significant difficulties, or where attendance at a group meeting is not considered suitable.  This type of support is also available for children aged five years and older.

Our dedicated team of experienced volunteers assist us in delivering this service.  They offer up to six counselling sessions, usually fortnightly, which provide an opportunity for talking though difficulties, being heard and understood, and for growing in the ability to face the future positively.

Please note: During the COVID-19 pandemic, all our services are delivered using the videoconferencing platform Zoom.

If you would like to download a printable copy of our Bereavement Support booklet, please click here


Safeguarding means working together to stop abuse and prevent it happening in the future.  This applies to children and adults. Everyone has a right to live a life that is free from abuse and neglect. If you or someone you know, is experiencing or is at risk of abuse or neglect, please speak to one of our members of staff.  You can also ask to speak with one of our designated safeguarding leads:

Sarah Holloway – Team Leader – Community Palliative Care

Work Telephone number: 01723 351421 ext. 1059 or 07395791205

(Adults & Children)

Helen Dunn – Senior Social Worker

Work Telephone number: 01723 351421 ext. 1098 or 07711 349747


Deborah King – IPU/H@H Senior Sister 01723 351421 ext. 1141 or 07802 889277


Sarah Ashfield – Specialist Palliative Care Counsellor

Work Telephone number: 01723 351421 ext. 1092

Mobile Telephone number: 07710 707668


Alternatively, contact the North Yorkshire County Council Customer Service Centre on 01609 780780 and speak to a specialist advisor to report your concern.

Patient and Family Support Resources

If you are receiving support from Saint Catherine’s, you may have been informed that we have resources available on our website for you. You can access those with the password you have been given here

Contact Us

Whether you’d like to ask us a question, need to raise a point or would like to leave us feedback, we’d love to hear from you! You can find our details at the top of every page or by visiting our contact page.

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