Coronavirus: guidance on visiting our hospice

Last updated: 16th June 2020

Since receiving news of the coronavirus outbreak, Ashgate Hospicecare has and continues to follow all health guidelines to ensure everyone at the hospice and across our other sites is safe. We have put sensible and precautionary plans in place with our main priority being infection control and prevention to protect our patients, their families, our supporters and our staff and volunteers.

Visiting our hospice

In our ongoing attempt to protect our patients, their relatives, hardworking staff, volunteers and the wider community from Coronavirus (COVID-19), while at the same time allowing our patients to spend precious time with their loved ones, we have revised our restrictions on the numbers of visitors each patient can have at any one time. 

Rather than having only one named visitor per patient, each of our patients can now have two named adult visitors at one time. Only children (aged under 18) of the patient will be admitted and not other family members such as grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins etc. Children will be admitted and leave the hospice via patio doors directly into their parent’s bedroom to reduce the risk of spread of infection. 

We can’t allow more named visitors than this as the risk increases significantly (including for our own staff and volunteers) due to the interaction people are having with other social bubbles and households. 

We hope this change will be welcome news for many, as it is a slight relaxation of our previous rules, but we do understand of course that it is still not as many visitors as we would allow under normal circumstancesHowever, the risk of Coronavirus infection and transmission means we are having to take added precautions to keep everyone safe during this time. 

Our supportive care team are available to speak to families who would welcome some additional support and a listening ear around these restrictions.  

Visitor numbers at the end of life 

If someone is at the very end of life their partner or spouse, parents and any children are also now able to visit 

Unfortunately, this means siblings, grandchildren and partners of children are unable to visit unless they are among the two named visitors.

Visitors to IPU now need to wear a face covering on entry 

From today, we will be asking all visitors to the Inpatient Unit (IPU) to wear their own face covering, which they should bring with them if possible and put on either before entering or while in reception and before entering the IPU corridor.  

Due to the need to look after our PPE supplies, we are unfortunately unable to provide visitors with medical face masks if they do not have one with them, but we will have cotton face coverings available on reception for a donation. 

The covering can be removed on entering the patient’s bedroom so visitors and patients are able to talk freely – we recognise that the covering can muffle sound making it harder for patients to hear what their visitors are saying. The covering should then be put on again when re-entering the Inpatient Unit corridor and leaving the building.  

We would ask if you can co-ordinate groups of family and friends to make sure there are only two adult visitors at one time. Any more than that number will not be admitted and we would not like to disappoint you when you arrive. 

The hospice remains open for visitors 24 hours a day.  

To keep the risk of spread of infection to a minimum, all visitors will be temperature checked on arrival. Anyone with a high temperature signifying illness will not be able to enter the hospice. We would kindly ask all visitors to wash their hands and/or use the hand sanitiser regularly while they are in our building. 

For more information on how Ashgate Hospicecare services have changed in response to the COVID-19 crisis in respect of end of life patient flow, complex palliative care needs and wider community and bereavement support, please click here.

How to protect yourself and our patients

You can help to stop the spread of any germs if you:

What are the symptoms? 

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

What should you do?

Please stay at home and self-isolate for seven days if you live alone or for 14 days (along with the rest of the household) if living with others, if you have any of the symptoms above.

If any of the above points apply to you, it is important that you do not visit your GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. If your symptoms worsen, contact NHS 111 online.

For more information

It is important that we take all reasonable steps to protect those using our services, as well as those working and volunteering at our sites. For further information on coronavirus, please visit:

Help scientists identify high risk areas in the UK by taking one minute to report your health daily via the COVID Symptom Tracker app, even if you’re well.

Why your support matters more than ever

The symptoms of coronavirus may be more severe in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term and life-limiting illnesses. Therefore, the demands on our hospice in the coming weeks and months due to the pressures of this outbreak are likely to be unprecedented.

Now more than ever before we need the help and support of our community so we can continue to provide the vital care to our patients, and support their friends and relatives.

Our patients and those who depend on our services are always our main priority. As such, it is so important that people keep supporting Ashgate Hospicecare to ensure we can continue to provide this vital care to those who need us the most.

To support our Urgent Appeal and help us continue to respond to the challenge of coronavirus in our community, please click here.

COVID-19 and Your Information

Please click here to read our supplementary Privacy Notice on COVID-19 for patients. This notice describes how your personal information can be used to protect you and others during the COVID-19 outbreak.

 

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