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Coronavirus Guidance

Coronavirus Update

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Hospice ResponseSecure CertificateGuidance for Visitors (Ward)Community ServicesWellbeing

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

We want to assure our loyal community that St John’s is following guidance provided by the Government and Public Health England regarding the Coronavirus outbreak. We are taking every precautionary action to protect our critical community and inpatient services, and protect the safety of our patients, families, volunteers and employees.

We are adapting the way we work in all areas to ensure that key services continue to operate in these uncertain times. This does mean that until further notice, to protect the health and wellbeing of our communities, St John’s Hospice has taken the difficult decision to:

  • Cancel Day Therapy Services at the Oak Centre
  • Close The Courtyard Café
  • Temporarily closure of all of our retail shops as well as our donation shed (please do not leave donations outside of the shops or shed)
  • Postpone or cancel some of our fundraising events (details to follow)
  • Restrict access to the chapel to current hospice patients and their visitors
  • Cancel all external training sessions until further notice

COVID-19 Secure certificate

Inpatient ward – guidance for visitors
New guidance with effect from September 19th 2020

Throughout the current Coronavirus outbreak our inpatient ward is still in full operation and admitting patients for complex symptom management and end of life care. Our dedicated team are there 24/7, 365 days a year providing care, compassion and support for both the patients and their families.

Our reception desk is open from 12pm – 6pm daily for enquires and donations (no donations of goods for shops please) etc.

You will be aware that hospitals, hospices and care homes have stopped or reduced all visiting. We are allowing limited visiting because we know this is beneficial to patients and families. However we must protect our staff, who nurse very vulnerable patients.

Therefore all visitors must follow these procedures, which cannot be altered:

  • Do not visit if you have a temperature, a new cough or changes to your taste or smell
  • Visiting hours are between 2pm and 4pm only
  • Patients can have a maximum of two visitors from the same household per patient per day (excluding the patient’s children, under the age of 18). If the patient you are visiting has had two visitors, you will not be allowed to visit
  • If you are contacted by the nurse in charge to say the patient you are visiting is in the last hours of life; four visitors are permitted
  • There will be no overnight visitors
  • No refreshments are available unless the patient is in the last hours of life
  • Wash your hands and put on the PPE as directed: please keep the PPE on at all times. You will be unable to leave the ward and re-enter during a visit – PPE is a scarce resource, bought by our own charitable funds
  • Stay two metres apart from others and with the patient at all times
  • Please do not wait in the reception area or immediately outside the Hospice entrance. You will need to wait in your car or outside in a safe place

Thank you for your help in keeping everyone as safe as possible during the coronavirus pandemic. If you have any queries please speak to the Nurse in Charge or contact the Hospice: 01524 382538.

Thank you for your understanding

Our visiting procedures can be downloaded for your reference here:

Download visiting procedures

Community Services – including Clinical Nurse Specialists and Hospice at Home Team

During this period of the Coronavirus outbreak our Clinical Nurse Specialist team are still at work across the community. This care team provide vital specialist palliative care including pain and symptom management as well as psychological support.

Our Hospice at Home team are still travelling in the community 7 days a week delivering care to patients near end of life as well as support to their families and carers.

Our teams will make contact with all of our patients in the community to discuss their ongoing care and support. Please be assured we remain totally committed to supporting you and your families and where appropriate, we will conduct reviews remotely by telephone call.

Day Therapy Services and Support Programmes

Regrettably we will not be able to host our weekly programmes, drop in sessions or remembrance services until further notice. The services provided consist mostly of group sessions and operating would be counter to guidance on social distancing in order to prevent the infection and spread of the Covid-19 virus.

Although we are currently unable to provide the Hospice Neighbours home-visiting befriending service we will soon be offering a volunteer befriending telephone service.


We have contacted our volunteers and asked them to temporarily step back from their volunteering role whilst the coronavirus is ongoing. This is sad for St John’s Hospice as the support of our volunteers is very important. However in line with government guidance this is the only course to take.

Courtyard Cafe Bookings

We are contacting those who have a booking with The Courtyard Café, and everyone who has signed up or bought tickets for our fundraising events. We do so with our genuine apologies and sincerely hope you will continue to support the patients and families cared for by St John’s during and after this extremely difficult time.

St John’s works as a team with its wonderful community – we wish everyone well in our local communities through these times. We will continue to do all that we can to keep caring for people who need pain and symptom management or end of life care.

Wellbeing and mental health during Covid-19 DOWNLOAD

Here is a helpful booklet from Every Life Matters, which provides help and guidance for wellbeing and mental health during Covid-19. Thank you to Every Life Matters for making this available. Download here.

Every Life Matter Booklet

A good way to keep yourself occupied if you find yourself with spare time at home is engaging in distance learning. Download this handing Distance Learning Directory to get started.

Thank you for your loyalty and unselfish commitment in these difficult days – we wouldn’t be here without you

Last updated: 18/09/2020

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