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Information on Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

St Barnabas House is very closely monitoring the situation concerning the Covid-19 virus and we are in close contact with Public Health England and the NHS. We will continue to monitor the situation daily and provide updates as and when we are able to.


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The information on this page includes health advice, the latest guidance on visiting the hospice, updates to care services, charity shops, donations and fundraising events.

Health advice

In these concerning times, rumours and misinformation are rife. Please use trusted resources for updates on COVID-19, such as the NHS and Public Health England.

We will of course keep you updated if we hear further news but it is important you check the government website every day after 2pm for the most up to date information and further links to NHS guidance.

The advice for anyone in any setting is to follow these main guidelines.

  1. The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or high temperature. If you have these symptoms, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
  2. Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
  3. To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
  4. Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

Visiting the hospice

As of Friday 20 March, we moved to essential visiting only at St Barnabas House and asked that only two visitors come to the hospice at a time. People are still able to visit their loved ones (assuming you are not experiencing any coronavirus symptoms), but we have moved to essential visiting only and ask that only two visitors come at a time.

We respectfully ask all visitors to use the hand sanitisers provided when entering and leaving the hospice building. There is hand sanitiser at reception upon entrance and in other locations throughout the hospice. In line with the public health advice, we also want to emphasise the importance of hand washing for 20 seconds on a regular basis and to ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ in the event of any common cold symptoms.

Unfortunately, on Friday 27 March we had to make the decision to limit access to the hospice Chapel for external visitors and apologise for any inconvenience. If you were planning a visit and would like a candle lit of your behalf, please contact our main reception on 01903 706300. Our chaplaincy team are at the hospice and will be happy to light a candle on your behalf.

Thank you for working with us through these challenging times to ensure the continued wellbeing of everyone at that the hospice.

Care services

We are very aware of the pressure that the NHS is under at the moment and the importance of all working together. Some of our nurses will be going to work in the NHS to support the increased demand for care during the coronavirus outbreak. To help further, more consultant time is being used to support local hospitals.

At the hospice itself, we have opened five new beds, bringing the total number to 25. People are still able to visit their loved ones (assuming they are not experiencing any coronavirus symptoms), but we have moved to essential visiting only and ask that only two visitors come at a time.

On Wednesday 18 March we made the decision to close our Day Hospice and café and put our Hospice Outreach Project on hold. Our outpatient appointments, therapy services, community palliative care team and Hospice at Home visits will continue, but with pre-visit calls from our team to ensure patients aren’t experiencing any coronavirus symptoms and still wish to have a visit.

While Day Hospice remains closed we will continue to support these patients by prioritising them on our new Helping Hands scheme, which aims to provide social and practical support to hospice patients who don’t have a network of friends and family. This involves offering social and practical support, like a shopping service and prescription delivery as well as keeping in touch with phone calls.

For further information, guidance and advice please visit: www.hospiceuk.org/coronavirus-guidance

Charity shops

Following the latest government advice about social distancing, on Monday 23 March we took the decision to close all our retail stores until further notice.

We would like to say a huge thank you to all our shoppers, donors, volunteers and shop staff who make a huge contribution to local hospice care. We wish you all the best over the coming weeks, and we look forward to seeing you again as soon as it is safe to do so.

Donations

Thank you for your continued support. We have been extremely moved by your kind messages and offers of support during this difficult time. This is a difficult time for everyone, but if you are able to consider supporting us with a donation at this time, it would be greatly appreciated.

Your support enables us to continue providing the care that is so vitally important to the people we work with – now and in the future. Hospice care remains our priority during the coronavirus outbreak.

Our aim is to keep any disruption to an absolute minimum and where possible, maintain our services to ensure that we can support the people who need us, whilst also continuing to raise the funds we need to sustain these services.

On Wednesday 18 March we stopped all door-to-door canvassing with immediate effect.

Unfortunately, we are currently unable to send physical thank you letters. However, we would like to say an enormous thank you to every single one of you for donating and supporting your local community who rely on hospice care. Thank you.

Fundraising events

Fundraising remains vitally important to being able to provide care services for local families, but unfortunately, we had to the take the decision on Friday 20 March to postpone all our upcoming events between now and June. For details about changes to specific events please visit our challenge events page.

We are in the process of contacting participants and will be announcing updates as soon as we have them. We will review the situation again in early June.

The decision has been taken by event organisers of the London Marathon and the Brighton Marathon Weekend to postpone until autumn 2020.

If you were planning to organise your own fundraising event, please follow the most up to date NHS and government advice. If you would like to talk to us, please call 01903 254777 or email fundraising@stbh.org.uk.