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General guidance

Current Government guidance is being regularly updated to prevent and control the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). This information is valid as of 18th March 2020.

What are the symptoms of the Covid-19 (Coronavirus)?
A persistent dry cough and high temperature.  For details, please refer to Public Health England Guidelines which can be found at the link below

Public Health England Guidelines
Social distancing and self isolation

What is social distancing?
Social distancing involves steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). they are:

Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous dry cough

Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible

Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs

Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media

Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services

At work non-essential meetings (e.g. appraisals etc.) should be postponed where possible - 
this includes meetings off-site and visits from suppliers etc. A separate memo sill be issued regarding this.

Everyone should be trying to follow these measures

What is self-isolation?
Self-isolation is about protecting others and slowing down the spread of COVID-19. It is very important that anyone who has the virus, or might have been exposed to it, limits the number of people they come into contact with. This is the most effective way of preventing the coronavirus from spreading.

When do I need to stay at home and self-isolate?
The hospice follows the Government guidelines which are:

If you live alone and have a high temperature or a new and continuous dry cough, you should self-isolate for seven days. If your symptoms persist you should call 111.

If you live in a household with others who have a high temperature or a new and continuous dry cough, both yourself and all others in your household should stay isolated together for 14 days

These individuals are strongly advised to self-isolate for 12 weeks:
Those who are over 70, pregnant women and those that have underlying health problems (e.g. with compromised immune systems) are particularly at risk.

Why is there a difference between 7 days and 14 days?
If you exhibit symptoms you should no longer be infectious after 7 days.  If you are in a household with the virus it may take 7 days to contract the illness and 7 days to be free of it – even if you do not exhibit symptoms.


Public Health England Guidelines
How can we work together to limit the spread of the virus?

The Government guidance states that COVID19 is spread by close contact and that this should be limited as much as possible by “social distancing”, in addition to this you should:

Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.
This is the best method of reducing the spread of the virus

Always wash your hands when you get home or into work

Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

How will our care be affected?

Hospice Day Therapies has closed as of Wednesday 18th of March. Patients have being informed individually and their personal circumstances assessed, our team will continue to offer appropriate support.

Our Inpatient Department, Hospice at Home team and Embrace Quality Care are continuing to operate as normally as possible.

Visiting the hospice

In order to reduce the risk of our patients, staff and volunteers being exposed to the COVID-19 virus we are asking anybody with the following symptoms not to enter the Hospice:

Please DO NOT enter the Hospice if you have any of the following symptoms:
A high temperature – above 37.8C / 99F – you feel hot to touch on your chest  or back
A new, continuous dry cough – this means you’ve started coughing repeatedly


Changes to Inpatient care

Since the current advice regarding self-isolation and social distancing was released we have been faced with immediate difficulty staffing the inpatient unit in terms of all professionals- Health Care Assistants (HCAs), Nurses and Doctors.

We have rapidly considered options to safeguard our inpatient service and try and mitigate the risks of key staff shortages whilst maintaining patient safety. 

We will change the type of service we offer and the model we use so that we can support as many patients as possible in response to changing staffing levels and yet still maintain the safety of our patients and staff.

We intend to move to a 'nurse led' model of care.

We propose that for now we will admit those patients thought to be in last weeks / days of life with largely 'non-specialist' needs. These would include those whose care can be managed with the support of HCAs, with the input of a single nurse on shift to to manage other issues as they occur.

HCAs will ensure good care is delivered to these patients, but without a full team of specialist staff this unit would no longer necessarily be a suitable environment for patients with complex symptom control issues for whom their care may be better delivered at the hospital or in the home during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Are fundraising events still taking place?

We have already taken the difficult decision to postpone our Gin at Sandon Hall evening and our Extreme Warrior event (due to take place on Saturday 21st March). Other events due to take place in the next few months will also be postponed.  

This will be disappointing news for many, but the welfare of our supporters, staff, volunteers and other local people must be balanced against our need to raise funds and we would wish to air on the side of caution.  The events will now take place later in the year. Participants are being contacted directly with further details.

Will the hospice shops remain open?

In line with Government Guidance we are looking to reopen some of our shops when it is safe to do so. Two of our shops - Our Norton Bridge Big Shop ST15 0NS and our Stafford Big Shop, St Albans Road ST16 3DR are expected to reopen on 15 June. You will be able to shop and make donations from 15 June onwards. Please do not leave items outside or attempt to make donations before 15 June. Please follow our safety guidance when visiting - you will be asked to wear a face covering and to follow our in-store guidance which includes using a sanitiser station on entry, following a one way system, maintaining social distancing and avoiding touching items unless intending to purchase. Thank you to all of our customers for supporting us through this difficult time.

Is the lottery still running?

Yes! we are still running our weekly lottery. We will inform our £1000 weekly winner by phone. Winners cheques may take up to 28 days to arrive in the post.