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Please read the latest coronavirus advice before visiting any of the hospice sites.

Keeping you safe – information on coronavirus

(Updated 08/04/20)

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At St Christopher’s the wellbeing of the people we support, hospice visitors, staff and volunteers is our first priority and that’s why we’re following advice and guidance issued by the World Health Organisation and the UK Government.

Coronavirus originated in China and symptoms include fever and a cough that may progress to pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

These symptoms can be more severe in people with weakened immune systems, older people and those with long-term conditions like cancer or chronic lung disease.

In response to the spread of coronavirus we have decided to introduce the measures outlined below and would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation and support in these exceptional circumstances.

A message from our Joint Chief Executive, Shaun O’Leary, to reassure you that despite the challenges of Covid-19, we are still here for those who need us.

If you have any concerns, please contact Amanda Mayo, Care Director, on a.mayo@stchristophers.org.uk or Jan Noble, Director of Quality and Innovation, on j.noble@stchristophers.org.uk. You can also call the hospice on 020 8768 4500.

Visiting St Christopher’s

We have taken the difficult decision to close both hospice sites to the general public, except those visiting people on our wards.

At this time, we are asking visitors of patients on the ward to visit their relative or friend at a maximum of one person at a time. You may only visit someone who is from the same household as you. We may ask you to wear a mask, gloves and apron during your visit.

Please also ensure you maintain a physical distance of two metres from others to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

If there is more than one person who wishes to visit, then all additional visitors must wait outside the building.

Thank you for your co-operation and helping us to keep everyone safe.

Information for patients, families and carers

Understandably, many people have concerns about their health and care needs in light of coronavirus and we are doing everything we can to continue to support our patients, their carers and their families. This isn’t without its challenges and we will need to work differently to make sure we are there for everyone who needs us. We also need to put in place measures to ensure our staff remain healthy and are able to provide this service in the coming weeks and months. That’s why we are providing support for outpatients and people we are supporting at home over the phone or by video call and only completing face-face-face visits when essential.

You can still contact St Christopher’s for advice around the clock by calling 020 8768 4500. We particularly urge you to do this in the event of a crisis or if there is an unforeseen change in condition. We would also like to reassure everyone that we continue to receive referrals for our support as normal.

Changes to our care services

  • Prior to any consultation, we will contact patients by phone. Our team will ask questions about each individual’s general health and any new problems they may be experiencing. They will also ask whether they have any reason to think they may have been exposed to coronavirus. This will guide our decision about who is best placed to speak with each person and make a plan for their care
  • We will ask all patients if they have access to a smartphone, the internet and a computer to help us consider how we best support them
  • We will offer the majority of our care and support via phone or using virtual consultations. When absolutely necessary, and deemed safe, home visits may also be offered
  • If someone is identified as requiring inpatient care this will be considered in the usual way, ensuring priority is given to those most in need
  • We are temporarily stopping all our group sessions and activities for inpatients, outpatients and visitors, this includes the Sunday Lunch. However, we will offer alternative support wherever we can.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Our top priority is keeping the people we support, their families and our staff safe. To do this we are following guidance from the UK Government and our staff have been equipped with PPE to wear when caring for patients exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. Please note that unless a patient is exhibiting symptoms, Public Health England and the UK Government are advising healthcare staff not to wear PPE and, at St Christopher’s, we are also following this advice. We will be in touch before visiting you to assess whether you are experiencing symptoms; please do let us know if you are, for the safety of our staff and others. Thank you for your cooperation.

Information for fundraisers and supporters

We have made the difficult decision to cancel the following fundraising events. The hospice relies on these events to fund our services each year so we are hoping to hold alternative fundraisers when it is safe to do so to help raise the money that we will lose from these cancellations:

  • Bluebell Walk – Sunday 3 May
  • Will Week drop in sessions – Monday 30 March to Friday 3 April: You can still book sessions with a solicitor during Will Week to benefit from free Will writing. The Will writing sessions do not have to take place during Will Week.
  • Open Gardens Festival – May to Sep 2020
  • Green Street Green Festival (formerly Food Festival and Dog Show) – Saturday 6 June
  • Survive The Wild – Saturday 19 to Sunday 20 September 

Information for shop customers and supporters

All St Christopher’s shops are closed for the foreseeable future. During this time we ask that you do not leave donations outside the shops but, instead, keep them safe at home ready to donate when our shops reopen. We rely on your support so thank you for keeping your donations safe for us!

Information for course and conference attendees

We have taken the difficult decision to cancel the following events:

  • Rising to the Challenge in Nursing Conference – Tuesday 5 May  
  • All local, national and international group visits to the hospice for education purposes.

Please also check our Education calendar for changes to specific courses.

The hospice takes the education and training of healthcare professionals on end of life care best practices very seriously, so we will be holding alternative online courses and will resume face-to-face events when it is safe to do so. Please check our website regularly for the latest updates.

If you require a refund or would like to transfer your place to a future date, please contact our Education Team on education@stchristophers.org.uk.