Update: 23 March 2020
For patients and their families
We know that for many of our patients and their families this is an even more worrying time. I thought it might be helpful to let you know what we are doing at the Hospice to support some of the most vulnerable people in our community, as well as to keep our staff and volunteers safe, I hope it will reassure you that we are here if you need our help.
Our team of doctors, nurses, health care assistants and housekeepers are working around the clock on our inpatient unit, as they always do, to care for those people who need to stay with us for end of life care or who have difficult symptoms. To protect our patients, we had to make the difficult decision last week to limit the number of visitors into the inpatient unit, so at the moment only one nominated person can visit each patient. This is really tough for people, we know. So our team are helping people to stay connected in different ways using technology and the phone.
Our Clinical Nurse Specialists are working differently too, being split between two teams, with one team making vital house visits to people at home and the others calling patients on the phone, checking in to see how they are and offering advice and support to patients and other community Doctors and Nurses. This way we can ensure that we can keep up with the increasing numbers of people who need our help, enabling more people to get the care that they so desperately need. Our Community Health Care Assistants continue to visit people at home to deliver our very expert hands on care in Greenwich.
On top of her usual workload, our Social Worker is busy ensuring patients have basic supplies at home. Many of our patients live at home supported by vulnerable carers and are having great difficulty accessing the basic items that they need. We are doing everything that we can to support them.
We are also planning how our many trained compassionate neighbours can work differently to keep in touch with patients who are isolated at home, or to help if they need things bringing to them.
I am incredibly proud of our staff for the dedication that they continue to show to our patients and their loved ones. And as always, delivering their care with compassion and kindness, despite concerns about their own health and that of their loved ones. Our volunteers as always have been incredible - always putting others before themselves. Their wellbeing is our priority and as such we have asked most of our volunteers to stay at home and stay safe.
Unfortunately we have also been forced to cancel or reschedule some of our fundraising events planned this year. If you have booked tickets to any of them we will be in touch with more details as soon as we have finalised our plans. Staying connected is really important right now so we are looking at ways of running some events in different ways and we will also share more information about that with you soon.
Unfortunately, we made the decision today to close all of our charity shops to help reduce the spread of the virus in our community. It’s a measure necessary to protect our staff and volunteers, and our customers. If you planned to donate goods, please do not leave your donations outside any of our shops whilst we are closed. Please hold on to them and bring them in when we re-open. We will need them.
If you would like to support the Hospice during this time, please donate to our urgent appeal
To everyone on the front line dealing with the crisis. Our special thanks go to all of you; health and social care workers, supermarket staff, lorry drivers, teachers, the police, council staff, funeral directors and so many others.
Look after yourself and look after each other. We are here if you need us. Thank you for your ongoing support.