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Changes to our services during the pandemic

Changes to our services during the pandemic

Changes to our services during the coronavirus pandemic

Although covid restrictions will end from Monday 19th July 2021 as part of the national roadmap, we are guided by the advice from the Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England and our own detailed risk assessments when planning and agreeing how we will work in the ongoing pandemic. England’s Chief Nurse issued a statement on 15th July 2021, advising the public that everyone accessing or visiting healthcare settings must continue to wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules.

Our Infection Prevention and Control polices reflect those of Public Health England which will remain in place until further notice. As such all our staff, when they are carrying out their work here at Deer Park, at The Long House and when visiting people at home will continue to follow these policies. Some aspects of these polices also apply to visitors to the hospice.

Staff, patients and visitors will be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting the hospice as well as using face coverings or masks and other personal protection equipment in line with our policies and protocols.

These decisions have not been made lightly and our policies are designed to protect the vulnerable people in our care. We hope you understand why we are continuing to follow our existing policies without change. Our staff will be happy to explain what they mean to you when you visit.  

 We are still here to support you and your family. Keeping you, your family and our staff safe is our main concern. Here are some changes we have made to the way we work in order that we can continue to care for and support you and your family.

 Our community nurses are continuing to see people in their own homes. The Clinical Nurse Specialists are able to visit but will ask you some questions about coronavirus symptoms before they come to your house. They will also need to wear a face mask and on some occasions an apron and gloves if required. If you prefer, they can arrange to hold your consultation by phone or video conference. They will help you set this up if you need it.

 Our Hospice to Home Team continue to provide care in the home. Again, they will ask some questions about coronavirus symptoms before visiting and will wear full protective equipment when delivering personal care.

 Our Supportive Care team have adapted the way they work to enable them to deliver one-to-one support and some group work via telephone and Zoom. They have also produced an on-line resource, “One Day at a Time”, which is updated regularly with a broad range of activities, interesting topics, poems and much more to help everyone cope with the current situation.

 From 5th July 2021 we will be offering a limited number of face-to-face sessions at our sites at Deer Park and The Long House. We are really excited about this and while we will start slowly we look forward to gradually increasing the number of sessions available.

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic we have unfortunately had to restrict visiting to the hospice bedded unit. The safety of our patients, their family and friends and all our staff is a priority during these challenging times. We reviewed our visiting policy at the beginning of July and at present the decisions we made then will remain in place until further notice.


Our overarching policy for visiting patients on the bedded unit at the hospice is as follows:


  • Visitors will be able to attend between 11.00 and 21.00.
  • There is no upper limit to the overall number of visitors that can come to see patients while on the bedded unit.
  • However, we will continue to restrict visiting to no more than 2 visitors per patient at a time and where possible, those people should be from the same household or a support bubble.
  • At present we are not yet able to allow overnight visitors other than for exceptional circumstances.
  • All visitors must complete a screening questionnaire each time they visit.
  • We will also ask for contact details in case we need to use the NHS Test and Trace service.
  • If you or anyone you live with has symptoms of coronavirus or has tested positive and are currently isolating you will not be able to visit. Please follow national guidance on self-isolating and ending isolation. You will not be able to visit until your isolation period has ended and you have not had a temperature for more than 48 hours.
  • If you would like to undertake a Lateral Flow Test we can provide this on arrival but you will need to wait until it has matured before we allow you to come in.
  • If you are doing tests at home you can show us your results if you like.
  • Visitors will be required to wear (Personal Protective Equipment) PPE appropriate to the need of their visit. If you wish, you may wear your own face covering or we can provide a mask for you.
  • We will ask you to wash your hands and / or use hand sanitiser during your visit.
  • We can support you and your family members to use Face Time, Skype or Zoom whilst being cared for in the hospice to help you stay in touch and connected.


We understand the challenges that these continued restrictions present. We know that family life and caring for people is an individual experience and we want to be as flexible as we can whilst still working within guidance and doing our best to keep everyone safe. We acknowledge there may be specific situations where we may need to take a more individualised approach to visiting within the context of this policy. Please feel free to discuss your situation or request with either a member of the medical team or senior nurse on shift. We want to support all of you and if we can allow some flexibility we will try to do this but the safety of our patients, you and our staff is very important to us.

 We will regularly review this approach to our services and we will continue to follow local and national guidance and restrictions as and when they are implemented.