COVID-19: Latest information

Coronavirus: St Giles Hospice statement

Page last updated: 01/12/2020

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 a difficult decision to place some restrictions on visiting to our Inpatient Unit. This is a decision we have made after great consideration.

Our patients are extremely vulnerable and to protect them and ensure we can be here for those who need us in the future, some restrictions have to be in place.

We have actively put in place additional ways in which patients and families can also remain in touch besides physically visiting.

Our medical and nursing teams are committed to providing, and continuing to provide, the best possible care to patients and understand this is an incredibly difficult time both for patients and for their loved ones but hope you will appreciate we must put all those we are caring for first and foremost. We hope that patients and families will work with us and respect the challenge we face in achieving both safe and patient centred care.

Due to the evolving situation with Coronavirus we have made the decision that it is in everyone’s best interests to restrict patient visitors.

Until further notice we ask that you observe the following:

  • 1 visitor per patient at any one time
  • Please do not visit if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms of Coronavirus
  • On arrival could you please contact the ward who will advise you on the route to access to the room
  • A mask will be provided which must be worn at all times throughout your visit
  • We ask that you remain by the patient bedside and do not wander around the rest of the inpatient unit, you may wish to bring in snacks and drinks
  • Please ensure hands are washed prior to visiting the patient and after you have visited them
  • Should you need a nurse please use the nurse call bell in the room
  • Should the nursing team need to give clinical care you will be asked to maintain two metre distancing this may include stepping out onto the patio or waiting in the bathroom

Visiting times – Whittington Hospice

Monday-Friday

3.30pm – 5.30pm: Zone 1 (Rooms 11-25) 1 visitor per patient

6.00pm – 8.00pm: Zone 2 (Rooms 1 – 10) 1 visitor per patient

Weekends

12.30pm – 2.30pm: Zone 1 (Rooms 11-25) 1 visitor per patient

3.30pm – 5.30pm: Zone 2 (Rooms 1 – 10) 1 visitor per patient

We appreciate your support with this. The measures we have put in place are to ensure we can continue to care for people and protect patients, staff and visitors.

Should you have any concerns or queries please do not hesitate to ask for one of the senior nursing team.

We recognise that this is a difficult time 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) 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 challenging times St Giles Hospice have been dramatically impacted by the effects of COVID-19. Right now we are facing an unprecedented squeeze where we continue to be forced to change, postpone or cancel our own vital fundraising events – all at a time when we are facing financial uncertainty coupled with an increase in demand for our services.

As a charity we rely on the generosity of our communities for two thirds of our income and this year we have seen a significant drop in our donations. As our communities quite rightly restrict movement and social gatherings, so many fundraising and mass participation events have been cancelled.

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 future.

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

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.

 

Fundraising events and activities

The health and wellbeing of all our patients, their families, hospice visitors, volunteers, supporters and staff is our top priority. Through this incredibly difficult time, we have seen St Giles adapt and innovate to ensure we can keep supporting those that need us the most.  However, our ability to raise funds continues to be extremely compromised.

With the cancellation of so many events throughout 2020 we are doing all that we can to provide our community with ways to stay active and support their local hospice. We continue to review the viability of our fundraising events in line with changing guidance and, as a healthcare charity working with the most vulnerable in our society, ensuring we maintain our duty to act in a socially responsible way at all times.

As guidance develops 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 continue to work 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.

 

There are still plenty of ways to support us

Miles 4 St Giles

Our hugely popular challenge throughout the Summer saw hundreds of miles being cycled, swam, hopped and ran in order to raise vital funds for St Giles. As the nights draw in, why not set yourself a chillier challenge and set yourself a 30 day sponsored task to clock Miles 4 St Giles? Find out more here.

 

Rudolph Run

The fancy dress fun run is set to take place on Sunday, 6th December starting from 9am in the grounds of Tamworth Castle, but running the public event will depend upon the COVID-19 restrictions in place on that date.

However, even if lockdown is extended or the rules in December mean that public gatherings cannot go ahead, then runners will be still get the opportunity to dress up and take part in Rudolph Run 2020.

Everyone who signs up will get a special pack containing special local route maps, Rudolph Run antlers, finisher medals and certificates so they can take part in the run in their own time and their own community.

St Giles Hospice will ensure the event site meets COVID-19 safety measures, extending the event duration to ensure that Rudolph Runners can maintain space and distance from one another while supporting their local hospice. All runners will be able to book a specific arrival time slot.

We’re doing our very best to make sure our Rudolph Run can go ahead safely – we think everyone is in need of a little festive cheer this year! However, if there is any reason – outside of our control – that means we’re unable to get together at Tamworth Castle, we are determined make sure that Rudolph Run still goes ahead and everyone in our community can still take part.

To find out more or to sign up, click here.

 

Christmas Appeal

Whether you do your bit in a Santa Claus knit, or donate your Christmas plate, please support us this festive season and help make Christmas count for our patients and their families.

The cost of providing inpatient care on Christmas Day alone is over £16,000, so our Clinical Director, Katie, is calling on your help.

Even though we can’t all meet up in person, St Giles hopes local families, businesses, schools and groups will feel a little closer to each other this festive season by signing up to take part in its simple, fun and COVID safe fundraising activities.

Among the campaign’s suggested activities are making a donation and donning festive knitwear for Jolly Jumper Day on 11th December; chipping in and writing a note on the Merry Messages Poster in lieu of Christmas cards and keeping kids amused by donating and downloading Olly’s Christmas Activity Pack.

Or fundraisers can use the props provided to post an Elfie Selfie (#StGilesElfieSelfie); take part in a Secret Santa Swap by donating the funds they would usually spend on a secret Santa gift to St Giles; or donate their Christmas plate by making a donation to help fund Christmas meals for hospice patients.

Supporters who sign up for a Festive Fundraising Pack will receive a list of fabulous fundraising ideas, a Merry Messages Poster, cut out props for their Elfie Selfie, and a St Giles Stocking Totaliser to help them keep track of their progress. Printed packs are also available on request, which include a money box, for a recommended donation of £5.

Find out more or request your FREE Festive Fundraising Pack click here.

 

Treecycle

With many events sadly cancelled this year, we’re delighted to say that our Christmas Treecycle won’t be one of them!

This January, we’ll collect and recycle your *real* Christmas tree in return for a donation.

Simply book your collection before 5pm on Wednesday 6th January 2021 – and we’ll do the rest!

Last year, our Treecycle raised a record-breaking £35,000! Please help us make this year’s event even more ‘tree-mendous’ – we’ve never needed your support more than we do today.

We’re collecting in even more locations this year, including Lichfield, Walsall, Sutton Coldfield, Tamworth, Burton, Rugeley, Burntwood, Uttoxeter, Swadlincote, Stafford and surrounding areas.

Find out more or to book your collection early click here.

 

Cycle Autumn – Cancelled

The dreadful impact of COVID-19 on our country and the fact that the number of people affected by the virus is increasing again is a worrying time for everybody.

The health and wellbeing of all our patients, their families, hospice visitors, volunteers, supporters and staff is our top priority. Through this incredibly difficult time, we have seen St Giles adapt and innovate to ensure we can keep supporting those that need us the most.  However, our ability to raise funds continues to be extremely compromised.

In line with government guidance we have eagerly been planning the reintroduction of our fundraising events programme, to provide an opportunity for supporters to engage with us as well as raise the much needed funds to keep St Giles going at such a crucial time.

We are devastated to announce that due to the increasing number of infections and local restrictions, we have to cancel Cycle St Giles Autumn 2020.

Our fundraising team have done an incredible job at planning a COVID secure event and we were confident that we could, with extra measures in place, ensure the health and safety of every participant, volunteer and member of staff.

However, as a healthcare charity working with the most vulnerable in our society we have a duty to act in a socially responsible way at all times. With infection rates on the rise and additional restrictions being enforced we do not feel running a mass participation event is the right thing for us to do at this time – we are truly sorry.

This is not the first event we have had to cancel in 2020 but it was an event that offered St Giles a glimmer of hope that we would be able to start raising funds from our traditional fundraising activities again. The decision to once again cancel one of our biggest fundraising events has not been taken lightly, and given our current financial pressures it was a situation we hoped we would not have to be faced with.

Our disappointment and upset at having to make this decision is enormous, particularly as we know how hard some of you have worked to raise funds and train – and how difficult it is for us to have to cancel events knowing that being able to fundraise in this way is absolutely critical to our survival.

With that in mind we are hoping all your hard work and dedication won’t go to waste and you join us for our free to enter virtual challenge, Miles 4 St Giles.

Understandably COVID-19 is the focus of lots of people’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 Autumn 2020?

If you have registered and paid for your place at Cycle St Giles Autumn 2020, you will receive an email instructing you how to inform us on how you would like to proceed. We can offer 3 options:

  1. Every cyclist with a place Cycle St Giles Autumn 2020 can request the GPX links for each of the four routes and can still raise sponsorship and participate in the event at their own time and pace.
  2. If you choose not to participate every cyclist can still kindly donate their place and any sponsorship raised to St Giles Hospice.
  3. Every cyclist who chooses not to take part in a virtual challenge (or is unable to do so) 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.

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. In accordance with the latest Government guidance, we are re-opening our shops from Wednesday 2nd December. Click here to read the shops generic COVID-19 risk assessment. 

Please note that the shopping experience and donation process will be slightly different during the COVID-19 restrictions. We have created a dedicated webpage to outline the changes we are making to keep our staff, volunteers, shoppers and donors safe. There you will also find a list of our re-opened shops and how our other services are affected including furniture collection and delivery.

Thank you so much for your ongoing support and understanding, and for your patience. We’ve never needed you more than we need you today, so we look forward to welcoming you back through our doors again.

Weekly Lottery

Our lottery draw is continuing to be held weekly. With other areas of our fundraising effected by ongoing coronavirus restrictions, the support of those who play our weekly lottery is even more vital than before. Thank you for your continued support to ensure we can continue to care for local people and their families living with a terminal illness.

If pandemic restrictions cause a delay in a draw taking place at any point in the future, 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 continue to write to anyone whose lottery renewal is due to ask for payment.  You may get a renewal letter asking you to pay a bit earlier to ensure we are able to process your payment in time to keep you in the draw.  If you are able to pay us early or increase your normal payment this would be very helpful to us at this time. 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.  Please note that due to a change in law on 14th April 2020, we can no longer take lottery payments by credit card, we are now only allowed to take online and telephone payments for lottery and raffle by debit card or direct debit.

If you normally pay by cash: Due to the second national lockdown, our lottery cash collections have been temporarily suspended. If your credit is running low, you will receive a phone call or letter from us to explain other ways to pay and remain in the draw until we are able to resume door to door collections. Thank you for your patience and continued support.

One-off weekly tickets:  One-off tickets are currently only available via our website, where you can also check the current rollover prize. If draws are delayed, we will be unable to guarantee the value of the rollover jackpot prize that is advertised at the point of sale until the previous draws have taken place.  In this instance we may decide to temporarily suspend the sale of one-off tickets.  If you have a winning ticket, please contact us for advice on how to claim your prize during the current situation as different claiming procedures may be in place due to visitor restrictions at the hospice.

On behalf of our staff, patients and their families, thank you all for your continued support.

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

Christmas Raffle 2020

Our Christmas Raffle is now live and will be a vital source of income to the hospice at a time when our fundraising continues to be badly affected by Coronavirus pandemic. We’ve never needed you more than we need you today.

If you normally receive a postal raffle pack you should have already received your tickets through the post as usual.  Tickets are also available to buy online here.

We are asking all our raffle supporters to pay for their tickets online if possible as this reduces the work our staff have to do in processing postal responses.  If you do pay by cheque through the post, please be aware there may be a delay in us banking your cheque we have a limited number of staff in the office and our volunteers, who normally help us process our post at this busy time, are currently unable to support us in the office due to Government guidance.

Our Christmas Raffle closes on 6th January 2021, with the draw being held on 20th January 2021. The draw date may be deferred if further restrictions cause delays in processing responses or prevent the draw taking place on this date. Any change to the draw date will be advertised on our website and notified to players by email where possible.

The money raised by our raffle is vital to ensure that we can continue to fund our patient care services. On behalf of our patients and their families, thank you for your continued support at this uncertain time.