Last updated: 23 March 2020

Guidance from Public Health England has now focussed on the need to self-isolate if you show symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19). These are:

Stay at home for 7 days if you have either:

  • a high temperature - this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new continuous cough - this means coughing a lot for more than one hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in a 24 hour period (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home, but, if you feel so unwell that you are unable to do normal activities (like watch TV, read a book or get out of bed) then you should call NHS 111. 

Guidance on attending or visiting the Hospice 

Based on current government guidance, we have applied the following criteria to attending or visiting the Hospice:

1. In the interests of patient safety any visitor who has symptoms (as described above) will not be permitted to enter the Hospice

2. Visiting hours have been reduced to between 09.00 and 18.00 each day.  Every patient can receive four hours of visits per day. This can be taken by one relative at one time or divided between different relatives, i.e. four relatives for one hour each. 

3. Upon arrival at the Hospice we will take your temperature to ensure that it is not above a level of 37.8. You will then be asked to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before gaining access to the Hospice via reception. We will take a note of the time that you enter and please be aware that we will need to enforce the time limits for visiting as a result of the vulnerable nature of our patients. 

4. If your temperature is above 37.8 or you display any other symptoms of COVID-19 you will not be permitted to enter the hospice and should return home and follow NHS 111 guidance, including self-isolation for the period currently detailed as seven days. 

5. Overnight stays are not longer permitted and we are unable to offer the family room at this time. We must also ask that visitors do not wait in the Hospice or in the Hospice grounds.

6. This guidance is subject to change at short notice. Updates will be posted regularly.

7. If you have any questions about this please do give us a call on 020 8099 7777.

Guidance for our Community Patients

1. If you are under the care of our Community Team we will contact you or your carer by phone before we attend. We will ask if you or a family member or carer have any symptoms/fever and if you or a member of your family are self-isolating. 

2. If anyone is self-isolating or has symptoms of COVID-19 we may need to manage our contacts with you in a new way in order to minimise the risks to you, our staff and to our other patients. We will discuss this with you in advance to ensure that you are comfortable with the approach we will take.

3. This guidance is subject to change at short notice. Updates will be posted regularly.

4. NHS has produced a leaflet with some practical advice for people who are caring for someone who is approaching their last days and hours of life:

Practical_care_at_end_of_life_-Toolkit_(NHS_20_March_2020).pdf

4. If you have any questions about this please do give us a call on 020 8099 7777.

Other Service Changes arising from COVID-19 measures

1. In view of the uncertainty of the current circumstances and the need to minimise unnecessary contacts and risks we have taken the decision to close the Wellbeing Centre for the time being. We hope to resume our service to you in the near future.

2. Our Orangery Café will be closed with effect from 23rd March 2020.

3. Our Psycho-social and Hospice Neighbours teams will be available to provide telephone support only for the time being.

4. Our charity shops have all been closed - please do not leave goods outside our shops as these cannot be collected at this time and will create costly waste-disposal issue for us. As you will be aware, this will negatively impact upon our fundraising ability.

4. If you have any questions about this please do give us a call on 020 8099 7777.

St Raphael's Hospice's senior managers meet regularly to consider necessary precautionary steps to minimise the risk of infection with Coronavirus (COVID-19) for service users (patients and families), staff, volunteers and visitors to the Hospice. Our service users represent a potentially vulnerable group, particularly those who are in-patients at the Hospice.

We follow government guidelines when determining any necessary steps. These are updated regularly and will be monitored by the Hospice’s senior clinical team. The government guidelines are available at the links at the bottom of this page but the most important site is the Government's main advice page at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public.
Also very useful is the NHS's 111 website at https://111.nhs.uk/

Please note that whilst the term ‘Hospice’ is used above this guidance applies to everyone, working or volunteering for or visiting St Raphael's Hospice, regardless of setting. Whilst the risk to individuals remains low, we take the wellbeing of those using or working in the Hospice seriously and appreciate your support in following the guidance above.

If you have any further questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact the Hospice on 020 8099 7777 and ask to speak to a relevant member of the clinical leadership team.

To reiterate, for the latest information and further advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19) please visit NHS England’s website: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public or the NHS's 111 website at https://111.nhs.uk/