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Submitted by nconnor on 20 March, 2020 - 10:09

COVID-19 CARE UPDATE

Katharine House Hospice's first priority is the welfare of our patients, staff and volunteers and that we all take reasonable steps to protect the wellbeing of ourselves and others in this current and ever changing situation.  

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

We shall be temporaily suspending viewings of the Memory Book in hospice reception. We apologise for any inconvenience.

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.