COVID-19: Latest information

Coronavirus: St Giles Hospice statement

Last updated: 25/03/2020

The current situation we find ourselves in as a country is unprecedented and we understand what a worrying time it is for everybody, especially our patients and their families.

Please be assured that the wellbeing of all our patients, hospice visitors, volunteers and staff is our top priority and we are taking all necessary precautions to keep our services open for the people who need us most.

We realise that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is an extremely uncertain and worrying time for us all, but we would like to reassure you that St Giles Hospice will continue to follow the latest guidelines to keep everyone safe and make sure that we can continue to deliver our most vital services.

You can find the latest information about the Coronavirus on the Government website here and the following information should give you everything you need to know about St Giles Hospice procedures – whether you are visiting a patient at St Giles, attending one of our community services or taking part in a fundraising event. Please bear with us as we continue to navigate our way through a difficult time.

We would like to thank you all for your continued understanding and support at this time, it takes a community to make a hospice and we have never needed our community more than we need it today.

Thank you,

Dr Emma Hodges

Group Chief Executive

We have had to make the heart-breaking decision that we must halt all visiting to our Inpatient Unit. This is a decision we have made after great consideration and soul searching.

Our patients are extremely vulnerable and if we are to protect them and ensure we can be here for those who need us in the future, then this is the right thing to do.

We are actively putting in place ways in which patients and families can remain in touch.

Our medical and nursing teams are committed to providing, and continuing to provide, the best possible care to patients and understand this will be incredibly difficult for them and their loved ones but hope you will appreciate we must put those we are caring for first and foremost.

We recognise that this decision will be difficult for family members and that many may struggle with the emotional impact it has. Our family support team is available on 01543 434536, Monday to Friday (9.15am -4.30pm) and Saturday and Sunday (10.00am-1.00pm) to provide support for all of our families during this difficult time.

As you would expect, our priority is to protect our most vulnerable clinical patients so therefore we are prioritising our Inpatient Services, 24/7 advice line and community nursing including hospice at home. We also want to continue to do what we can to provide help, where possible, to the other groups we support.

In line with NHS guidance all non-urgent healthcare activities are being reviewed to see if they can happen in ways other than face-to-face, such as telephone, FaceTime, WhatsApp or video conferencing. This is because of the need to shield so many people over 70 or those with underlying health conditions.

We have reviewed our Non-Inpatient Services, particularly those that require face-to-face contact, to understand what it is possible to offer digitally. Obviously some services can’t be offered like this and therefore these will cease for the moment. Our Non-Inpatient services that will cease for the time-being are our Day Hospice and other support services, Lymphoedema Clinics, Complementary Therapy and face-to-face Bereavement Support. For these services, telephone support is available and you should contact the team in the usual way and we will try to keep in touch with you.

Day Hospice patients will be supported as best we can by telephone or other digital ways. This will be by members of the hospice team. We will keep in touch but can’t guarantee you will always speak to the same person.

We are working to set up these new ways of communicating as quickly as we can and will provide user guides and staff at the end of a telephone to help.

Our Bereavement Help Points will be made available everyday through video-conferencing – new members will be welcome to the group and the sessions will be supported by our regular teams.

Please do not visit any of our sites for day-based activity or support as we cannot risk cross infection. Please contact the team that you would normally liaise with or call our advice and referrals line on 0300 330 9410.

Like all charities in these uncertain times St Giles Hospice are concerned about the impact of the current situation on our income. As a charity we rely on the generosity of our communities for two thirds of our income and in recent days and weeks we have seen a significant drop in our donations. As our communities quite rightly restrict movement and social gatherings, fundraising events are being cancelled and mass participation events postponed.

Right now we are facing an unprecedented squeeze where we are being forced to change, postpone or cancel our own vital fundraising events – all at a time when we are facing financial uncertainty. We remain extremely grateful for everyone’s goodwill and financial support – however we would urge any of our current supporters, past donors or anyone who is in a position to do so, to help in any way they can. If you can afford to make a donation, no matter what the size, we would be very thankful for your support, especially if you are able to commit to a regular amount and help offer us a degree of certainty in the months ahead.

Understandably the Coronavirus is the focus of everyone’s attention, but we cannot forget that other people in our community are facing their own challenges and we must make sure that we are still here for them when they need us most.

To donate, please visit www.stgileshospice.com/donate

Fundraising events and activities

We ourselves are considering the viability of our fundraising events in the coming months and we will of course keep all of our wonderful supporters up to date with any changes, cancellations or postponements. We know how hard some of you have worked to raise funds, train and organise – and how disappointing it is for activities and events to be cancelled. The health and wellbeing of our supporters is paramount and whatever decisions we make regarding events, rest assured, will be made in the best interests of our supporters, volunteers and staff.

As an Income Generation team we would love to say it’s business as usual but unfortunately that just isn’t the case. Therefore, please bear with us. Everyone at St Giles is working extremely hard to provide the very best service we can but, during the current disruption, we would like to apologise if we don’t return phone calls, answer emails or thank people for donations as quickly as we’d like. We hope you understand, but please know that any support you give is hugely appreciated.

We would like to thank you all for your continued understanding and support at this time, it takes a community to make a hospice and we have never needed our community more than we need it today. Thank you.

If you have any questions regarding a fundraising event you have planned please do not hesitate to call the Fundraising Team on 01543 432538.

Cycle Spring – Cancelled

In light of government advice announced on 23rd March, we have taken the necessary step to cancel Cycle St Giles Spring 2020.

We hope you can understand that we have no other choice but to cancel this event in the best interests of our cyclists and wider community, we know you were all keen to continue, however the decision has been made as the most responsible course of action – we are truly sorry.

We know how hard some of you have worked to raise funds and train – and how disappointing it is for activities and events to be cancelled. However it is clear that staying active is really important at this time and riding a bike is a great way to aid your physical and mental health.

With that in mind we are hoping all your hard work and dedication won’t go to waste as we will provide all cyclists with the Spring 2020 routes and hope you will use your ‘one form of exercise a day’ to get on your bike for St Giles.

We have never needed our community more than we need it today, and as the donations we rely on to continue our work are being seriously affected we really hope the people that have sponsored you will be happy for their donations to still come to the hospice despite this cancellation and you are still able to donate funds raised.

Understandably the Coronavirus is the focus of everyone’s attention, but we cannot forget that other people in our community are facing their own challenges and we must make sure that we are still here for them when they need us most. Thank You for your continued support.

To donate, please visit www.stgileshospice.com/donate

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the Fundraising Team on 01543 432538.

What do I do if I was already registered for Cycle St Giles Spring 2020?

If you had a place in Cycle St Giles Spring 2020 we can offer 5 options:

  1. Every cyclist with a place Cycle St Giles Spring 2020 will be able to transfer their place to Cycle St Giles Spring, Sunday 9th May 2021 without any further payment.
  2. Every Cyclist will have the opportunity to transfer their Spring Cycle place to Cycle St Giles Autumn, taking place Sunday 6th September 2020, despite this event having a higher entry price we will offer a transfer at no extra cost for those who confirm they wish to transfer by midnight on 10th April 2020.
  3. Every cyclist with a place Cycle St Giles Spring 2020 will be provided with GPX links for each of the three routes and can still raise sponsorship and participate in the event at their own time and pace.
  4. If you choose not to participate every cyclist can still kindly donate their place and any sponsorship raised to St Giles Hospice
  5. Every cyclist who chooses not to take part (or is unable to do so) in Cycle St Giles Autumn 2020 or Spring 2021 will be offered a refund of their 2020 entry fee or, if they are happy to, can kindly donate their place to St Giles Hospice (see option 4).

You do not need to take any action at this stage and will be contacted in the coming weeks to inform us on how you would like to proceed.

Summer fair – Postponed

The current situation we find ourselves in as a country is unprecedented and we understand what a worrying time it is for everybody.

The wellbeing of all our patients, hospice visitors, volunteers, supporters and staff is our top priority and we are taking all necessary precautions to keep our services open for the people who need us most. In doing so, we have had to take the necessary decision to postpone St Giles Summer Fair.

The decision has been taken as the most responsible course of action in response to Government advice against unnecessary travel and contact with others. The health and wellbeing of our supporters is paramount and this decision has been made in what we believe to be the best interests of all.

We will of course keep all of our wonderful supporters up to date as soon as we are able to announce a new date, so please do watch this space and we look forward to welcoming you all to the Hospice soon.

If you are able, you can still support St Giles at this difficult time by making a donation to Katie’s Appeal: www.stgileshospice.com/katiesappeal

As our shops have had to close and our events are being cancelled, we are now reliant on donations to continue our vital care. Thank you so much for your continued support for St Giles. We’ve never needed you more than we need you today.

If you have any questions regarding a fundraising event you have planned or planned to attend, please do not hesitate to call the Fundraising Team on 01543 432538.

This is a challenging time and – like you – we have never experienced anything quite like it before. Everyone at St Giles is working extremely hard to provide the very best service we can to our patients.

The health and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers, supporters and community remains our priority. With that comes the difficult decision we have taken to close our 31 shops temporarily with immediate effect for the foreseeable future.

Visiting our shops

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, all shops are temporarily closed. Thank you so much for your ongoing support and we look forward to welcoming you back to our shops again soon.

Donating to our shops

Whilst we are incredibly grateful for all donations to our shops please hold on to them for now. Please help us by not leaving donations either at the front or back doors of our shops as we are unable to process them as we usually would. Thank you for your ongoing support and generosity and we look forward to welcoming your donations again soon.

Property Clearance, Furniture Collection and Furniture Delivery Services

From Friday 20 March we have temporarily suspended our Furniture Collection, Delivery & Property Clearance services. People with bookings already taken up to Thursday 19 March will be contacted directly by the team.

Distribution Centre, Shenstone

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, our Distribution Centre is now temporarily closed for the foreseeable future. Please help us by not leaving donations either at the front or back doors of the centre as we are unable to process them as we usually would. Thank you for your ongoing support and generosity and we look forward to welcoming your donations again soon.

eBay

From Tuesday 24 March we have temporarily suspended our eBay shop. We are doing our best to ensure any purchases made are dispatched, but, please bear in mind the postal services which we rely on might be experiencing delays. We look forward to welcoming you back to our eBay shop again soon.

Other ways to support St Giles Hospice

We remain extremely grateful for everyone’s goodwill and financial support and would ask that our donors consider making a financial donation to help support our vital care services at a time when our patients need it most. This can be done online at www.stgileshospice.com/donate. Thank you so much for your support. It takes a community to make a hospice and we have never needed you more than we need you today.

Weekly Lottery

While other areas of our fundraising are being affected during this difficult time, the continued support of those who play our weekly lottery is even more vital than before. Thank you for ensuring that the hospice continues to benefit from the income raised by our lottery each week.

Our lottery team are doing all they can to continue to process lottery payments and ensure our weekly draws go ahead on time.  If staff absence causes a delay in a draw taking place, please be assured that any payments you have made will be held in credit on your account until the draw can take place.  In line with our terms and conditions, we will carry out draws in order, as soon as we are practicably able to do so and the chance of winning will not be affected.

If you normally pay your lottery through the bank: Your payments should not be affected and you will be entered into the draws as they are held – thank you.

If you normally pay by cheque or card: We will be writing to anyone whose lottery renewal is due during the coming weeks.  You may therefore get a renewal letter asking you to pay early to ensure we are able to process your payment to keep you in the draw.  If you are able to pay us early or increase your normal payment, please be assured that any advance payments will be held on your account to ensure you are entered into all the draws as and when they take place.

If you normally pay by cash: Our cash collectors are not currently calling door-to-door for the safety of both our players and staff.  Our collectors are therefore attempting to call our players by telephone to try and arrange alternative payment by card or cheque or a payment break.  If you are able to call us to pay in the meantime, please call us on 01543 434020.

One-off weekly tickets:  For the time being we are continuing to sell tickets in our shops and via our website and any ticket bought will be entered into the relevant draw.  If draws are delayed we will not be able to guarantee what the rollover jackpot will be until previous draws have taken place.  This will be advertised at the point of sale.  We may decide to temporarily suspend the sale of one-off tickets in this instance.

If you do not currently play our lottery but would like to support St Giles every week throughout this very difficult period, you can sign up online today at www.stgileshospice.com/lottery or by calling the lottery office on 01543 434020.

On behalf of our patients and their families,  thank you all for your help and support at this very unusual and difficult time.

Summer Raffle 2020

Many of you support St Giles by playing our summer and Christmas raffles.  We are currently in the process of finalising our summer raffle and we hope we will still be able to send this out to our supporters next month.  The sale of summer raffle tickets will provide a vital source of income and this time and will help us continue to provide our services through the months ahead.