Case Study: Douglas Macmillan Hospice

Douglas Macmillan Hospice excellence award is a sector first


We want to be admired as a centre of excellence for palliative and end of life care – that is our fundamental goal.”  –  David Webster, CEO, Dougie Mac.


Douglas Macmillan Hospice (Dougie Mac) in North Staffordshire has become the first hospice in the UK to achieve the globally recognised Investor in Excellence Standard.

They have achieved this landmark accreditation by working with leading UK performance improvement, organisational development and sustainable growth specialists, Investors in Excellence (IiE).

The first full and formal assessment of excellence by IiE concluded that Dougie Mac is recognised as a ‘greater’ organisation, the sixth of eight levels on the IiE scale of performance.

A unique framework for improvement and assessment

IiE share best practice in excellence, gained over the last 25 years through working with a host of large, medium, and small organisations in the private, public and third sectors, in the UK and overseas.

The IiE Standard is underpinned by clarity, simplicity, and strategic value. It’s eight levels of performance range from ‘disorganised’ to ‘out-performing’, allowing organisations to see their current performance level and visualise how they can improve and develop.

The client – Douglas Macmillan Hospice (Dougie Mac)

Based in Stoke-on-Trent, The Douglas Macmillan Hospice, known affectionately to locals as the Dougie Mac, first opened in 1973 to care for local people with life-limiting illnesses. It has recently amalgamated the local children’s hospice The Donna Louise Trust and is now operating as one hospice, offering palliative and end of life care for all ages. 

With a vision to be admired as a centre of excellence for palliative and end of life care Dougie Mac is committed to responding to the increasing needs of the community, ensuring quality care is delivered.

David Webster, Chief Executive of Dougie Mac said: “We want to be admired as a centre of excellence for palliative and end of life care – that is our fundamental goal.  We therefore wanted to work with Investors in Excellence to secure excellence at the core of our hospice, and this partnership has been invaluable in our quest to evidence all that we do as demonstrably excellent.

“Our vision is that Dougie Mac will provide palliative care for all; a dynamic 21st century hospice for children, young adults, and adults across two sites. 

“In a hospice environment it’s all about making people feel safe, and quality plays a key role. The hospice has a culture of continuous quality monitoring, in which any shortfalls are identified and acted upon quickly. 

“It is invigorating to think of a hospice future which combines a contemporary zest with an authentic respect for our roots.

“We have been working in partnership with IiE for six years, and their expertise has illuminated so much, and we know it will help our fantastic team, becoming part of our DNA and giving staff and volunteers the recognition they deserve for delivering an exceptional service for patients and their loved ones.”  

“The IiE Standard is our performance improvement framework of choice so we always know how well we are doing and can set plans appropriately. We work daily to our values through every part, every person, every process through CARE: Compassion, Accountability, Respect and Excellence.

“Dougie Mac’s strong financial resilience and the unification of children and adult services is a landmark achievement which ensures all patients and their families continue to receive exceptional care and support for as long as they need it. 

“We never take that for granted. Our supporters can be reassured that their pledged fundraising and donations will continue to be spent wisely, excellently in fact, to provide the very best care and reinforce the hospice’s commitment to grow sustainably.” 

The assessor – Investors in Excellence

Summing up the formal assessment of Dougie Mac against the Investors in Excellence Standard, Kevin Hart, IiE MD and Programme Director said: “This outstanding accolade for the first assessment bears testimony to the work Dougie Mac and IiE have completed in development and improvement training prior to the assessment.” 

 “Dougie Mac deservedly gained a ‘greater’ recognition at the first full and formal assessment. Very few organisations achieve such an award at the first attempt.

“It is a recognition of the quality of people from full-time to volunteers, to all their salaried staff and nurses, who all share a passionate belief in what Dougie Mac stands for and does. 

“Dougie Mac is a high quality, all-ages palliative and end of life care provider founded on the clear and strong values of CARE. They are performing true to their values and consistency of purpose across all activities. This is even more remarkable when set against the backdrop of a global pandemic at the time of merger. “


IiE Standard 7 is the unique and dynamic framework for unlocking human potential and continuously improving performance. Standard 7 is 100% objective and accurately scores an organisation against an eight-band scale of performance from ‘disorganised’ to ‘outperforming’. Dougie Mac is formally recognised as a ‘greater’ organisation against IiE’s capability maturity model integration, with only ‘high-performing’ and ‘outperforming’ bands above Dougie Mac’s ‘greater’. 

Dougie Mac’s formal commitment to become an Investor in Excellence keeps them on track, time, and target and, importantly, looks through the lens to help them understand objectively how well they are doing. Their team of trained Excellence Champions and Excellence Practitioners will be able to sustain this success and focus on their journey to high performance. They continue to communicate this progress in excellence to all supporters as they move into their 50th anniversary year, 2023. 

Photo: Dougie Mac CEO David Webster with some of the Dougie Mac team proudly displaying the Investor in Excellence Standard award. 

For more information on Investors in Excellence including their levels of organisational performance visit: Performance Improvement Specialists – Investors in Excellence

For more information on Douglas Macmillan Hospice visit: Home – Dougie Mac   

DMH Hospice | Investor In Excellence