Coronavirus: guidance on visiting our hospice

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.

Update on restrictions on visitor numbers to protect our patients, staff and volunteers

As a country, we are slowly starting to see restrictions ease and as a result we are really pleased that this has enabled us to review our visitor guidelines.

These restrictions are part of our ongoing commitment to protect our patients, their relatives, staff, volunteers and the wider community from COVID-19, while at the same time allowing our patients to spend precious time with their loved ones. 

From Monday 12th April, we will allow two named visitors per patient (unless the patient has a dependent child). Children will be asked to enter and leave the hospice via patio doors directly into their parent’s bedroom to reduce the risk of infection. 

However, if the person you are visiting is considered to be in the last week of their life then the medical staff will complete a Recognising Dying Form, allowing the partner, children and parents of that patient to visit.  

If a patient wishes to name four alternative individuals to visit them at this stage of their illness, then in recognition of patient centred care their wishes would be respected. 

Unfortunately, we can only allow two people to visit the patient at the same time. 

We are unable to allow more named visitors than this as the risk increases significantly, for our patients, their visitors and for our own staff and volunteers.  

The past few months have been very difficult for everyone, and we are so pleased to be able to allow more visitors, albeit cautiously, and in a way that is as safe as possible for all, following the latest Public Health England guidance in everything that we do. 

We understand that these restrictions will be difficult and frustrating, but it is essential we do everything possible to help protect patients, their relatives, staff and volunteers from the risk of Coronavirus infection and transmission. We understand how important it is to spend time with your loved ones and we are doing everything possible to allow this to happen in the safest way possible. 

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

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 at main reception. 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 guidance on what infection control measures we have put in place, please click here.

Visitors to the Inpatient Unit must wear a face mask  

We are continuing to ask all visitors to the Inpatient Unit to wear a surgical face mask which will be provided by the hospice. The mask must be worn before entering the IPU corridor.   

The mask should be kept on in the patient’s room unless the patient or visitor have difficulties with communication. If you do take off your mask due to communication difficulties, then it should be put on again when a member of staff or volunteer enters the room, when you re-enter the IPU corridor and on your way out of the building.   

We would ask that you liaise within your family and friends to make sure there is only two adult visitors at any one time. Any more than that number will not be admitted, and we would not like to disappoint you when you arrive.  

As we move forward, we will review our visiting policy regularly and will update you again as soon as we feel able to introduce further changes. 

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.

For guidance on visiting a relative who is COVID positive, 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 will continue to be high due to the pressures of this outbreak.

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 Winter Crisis 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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