COVID-19 (Coronavirus) update

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Coronavirus Update
Published on: Saturday 17 Apr 2021 at 15:56

Latest Covid Update – 18th May 2021

As part of the Hospice’s roadmap out of the COVID lockdown, we are continually reviewing the way that we open up our services and site.

Our priority at all times is 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 recent lifting of restrictions in the UK, we are now able to increase visiting access to the Hospice and offer face to face consultations. All of our charity shops are now open and we are running covid-secure fundraising events again.

Inpatient Unit Visiting Policy – May 2021

As the country gradually comes out of lockdown, 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:

Five visitor policy

In order to protect our patients, we are limiting visitors to the Inpatient Unit to five visitors per patient, per day (this includes children over the age of one). This must be the same five people for that 24 hour period. The next day, a different five 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.

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 arriving at the Hospice, and must be able to show a registered, negative test result before admission to the Inpatient Unit will be allowed. Lateral flow test kits are free and easily available from local pharmacies or from the Government’s website. If you are unable to provide evidence of a registered negative test result, you will be asked to take a test onsite before admission 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 twice-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 has ended. Please follow the current government guidance.

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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Whilst we still need to restrict access to communal areas in the Inpatient Unit, visitors are now able to use the Inpatient Unit’s kitchen facilities, although this is restricted to one designated visitor per patient.

Thank you for your co-operation.

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


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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