COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update

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Coronavirus Update
Published on: Friday 13 Mar 2020 at 15:56

Latest Covid Update – 23rd March 2021

Following the government announcement of a Roadmap out of the COVID lockdown, St Clare Hospice will be reviewing the services we offer onsite at the Hospice, and in the community, over the coming weeks.

Our priority at all times will be patient safety, and ensuring that we deliver services to patients and their families that are most needed. Read on for details of our current clinical services, including our visiting policy to the Inpatient Unit.

In line with the Government Roadmap, we will be aiming to re-open our charity Shops to customers, and to receive donations, from Monday 12th April 2021. Please check our Shops page for more details in the coming weeks.

We will also be resuming our Fundraising Events, following Government guidance at all times, as these are a vital source of voluntary income for the Hospice charity and help to fund our clinical services.

The first event will be our annual 10k run on Sunday 11th April, and our Winter Walkies 5k on Sunday 23rd May.


Inpatient Unit Visiting Policy – March 2021

We understand that this is a very difficult time for you and your loved one, but want to reassure you that our staff will be caring for your loved one and ensuring that they are not alone.

As the country gradually comes out of lockdown from April 2021, we will be continuing to review our visiting policy, as we know how important visiting is to patients and their families. Please respect the Inpatient Unit visiting policy which is in place to keep our very vulnerable patients safe at all times, and is as follows:

Two visitor policy

In order to protect our patients, we are limiting visitors to the Inpatient Unit to only two visitors per patient, per day. This must be the same two people for that 24 hour period. The next day, a different two people would be able to visit.

If there are specific circumstances where more visitors are required in a 24 hour period, the family can speak to the nurse in charge and the request will be reviewed on a case by case basis by our Director of Patient Care or Medical Director.

Temperature checks

All visitors to the Inpatient Unit will be temperature checked before entry by the Ward Clerk or a member of the Nursing Team. If you are found to have a fever you will be refused entry to the Inpatient Unit. This is to ensure the safety of all patients, visitors and staff to the Inpatient Unit.

Lateral Flow Covid Tests

To ensure the safety of our patients, staff and other visitors all visitors to our Inpatient Unit are required to take a Lateral Flow Covid test prior to admission to the Inpatient Unit. Upon entry to the reception of the Hospice, you will be given a Lateral Flow test kit. You will need to take the test in a separate room, and wait for the negative result – which you will need to report to the Inpatient Unit staff and on the Government’s website – before being given access to the Inpatient Unit. Anyone who tests positive will not be given access to the Inpatient Unit and asked to leave the Hospice and follow Government guidelines.

Visitors will need to take Lateral Flow tests on a weekly basis whilst they are visiting Inpatient Unit patients.

Face Coverings

It is essential that all visitors to the Inpatient Unit wear a face covering on entry to the Hospice, and for the duration of their visit.

We ask that, where possible, you bring your own face covering with you – so as not to use up the essential Personal Protective Equipment needed by the hospice staff. If you arrive without a face covering, we will be able to supply you with one.

Do not visit

Please do not visit if you or anyone in your family have symptoms of COVID-19 or have tested positive for COVID-19 until you no longer have symptoms (after a minimum of 10 days) and the recommended isolation period of 14 days has ended. Please follow the current government guidance.

In the video below, our Director of Patient Care, Carolanne Brannan, explains the reasons for our Covid-19 Visitor Policy:

While visiting St Clare Hospice

  • When entering St Clare Hospice, please ensure you use the hand sanitiser gel provided at Reception and around the Hospice and regularly wash your hands with soap and water. You must adhere to strict handwashing when entering the building, your loved one’s room, upon leaving and when you get home.
  • A face covering must be worn on entry to the Hospice and for the duration of your visit.
  • Please use the antibacterial wipes provided at Reception to wipe your mobile phone before entering.
  • Please check-in to the NHS Covid-19 app on your mobile device by scanning the QR code which is on display at Reception, this is for the national Test and Trace system.
  • Once you have signed in at the Reception, we ask you to enter the Inpatient Unit by the main corridor behind Reception and undertake a temperature check at the IPU doors, conducted by the Ward Clerk.
  • On a weekend this temperature check will be taken at the Reception doors when you are admitted by a member of the Nursing Team.
  • Whilst visiting your loved one we will ask you to maintain social distancing when a member of staff enters the room and we may ask you to step out of the room for a short period.
  • We recognise that human touch is so important so, if you do touch your loved one, then please wash your hands before and as soon as possible afterwards.
  • Staff will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to ensure that they can keep the patients, visitors and themselves as safe as possible.
  • If children or pets wish to visit, then please discuss this with the Nurse in charge and this will be taken on a case by case basis.
  • Visitors are asked to remain in the loved one’s room and adjoining patio area at all times.
  • We are sorry that all communal facilities are out of use until further notice.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Please call the Inpatient Unit on 01279 773777 if you have an enquiry.


Current Hospice Services

In order to protect our vulnerable patients and visitors from the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are reducing some of the services that we currently offer in order to reduce movement to the Hospice site. Unless you are a member of staff, a patient, or an immediate family member of a patient, we request that you do not visit St Clare Hospice.

Our priority is to ensure that we take all the necessary steps to minimise the risk of infection with Coronavirus (COVID-19) for patients, families, carers, staff, volunteers and visitors to the Hospice – and aim to ensure that the Hospice remains open.

We are continuing to offer an Inpatient Unit service, as well as Hospice at Home and Community Nursing. We also have therapists, such as Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists, who are working to help get patients discharged from hospital to home, they are also visiting hospice patients at home to ensure they remain independent at home for as long as possible.

We are taking additional precautions to ensure the safety of our staff and patients with staff being asked to work from home in order to limit the number of people with access to the Hospice site.  All our staff are working extremely hard to ensure that St Clare Hospice remains a safe place for patients to visit and stay.

In order to protect our vulnerable patients, we have stopped all Day Therapy groups and face-to-face clinics until further notice. We are running online clinics and offering a telephone support service for any affected patients, if they would like it.

We have halted all Compassionate Neighbours visits to community members. Volunteers are continuing to maintain their relationship with their community member via telephone contact for the time being.

In order to protect our patients and vulnerable visitors, we have stopped the following groups and activities until further notice:

  • Café Clare
  • All face-to-face Bereavement Cafés
  • Last Thursday Sessions
  • Yoga

Online support

We have a range of support available to people which can be accessed either online, or by telephone.

This includes our Virtual Bereavement Cafes and Facebook Groups, which connect local, bereaved people in West Essex and East Herts together, to support each other through grief and loss. Find out more about Bereavement Cafe here.

We also run a Bereavement Support Helpline which operates from 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday. The number to call is 01279 967670. It is free to call, though charges may apply in line with your standard network rate. Anyone who has experienced the loss of someone close, whether recently or in the past, is welcome to call our Bereavement Support Helpline.

Our Cafe Clare project has also gone online, and you can still connect with others and St Clare, from the comfort of your own home. Find out more about Cafe Clare online here.


Hospice at Home or community services 

If you are under the care of our Hospice at Home Team, or are receiving other hospice services at home, and any of the NHS or government advice applies to you or a family member in your household, please notify us before we visit you. It is important that our staff are aware of any of the circumstances mentioned in the NHS guidance in advance of a visit, this ensures we are able to tailor our visits to patients’ needs and make them effective and safe. All our healthcare professionals follow standard evidence-based guidance for patients’ care and hygiene, which keeps our patients safe and comfortable and makes good care possible.

Call the Hospice at Home Team on 01279 773773.


For the latest information and guidance on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you think you might have coronavirus or you’ve been in close contact with someone who has it:

• Stay at home and avoid close contact with other people
• Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
• Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next

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