COVID-19: Latest information

Coronavirus: St Giles Hospice statement

Page last updated: 16/09/2020

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 Units. 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
  • 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

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

Visiting times – Walsall Hospice

3.30pm – 5.30pm: Green Zone – 1 visitor per patient

6.00pm – 8.00pm: Blue Zone – 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 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.

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 – Cancelled

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 cancel 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.

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.

Solstice Walk – Cancelled

In light of Government advice and continued guidance, we have taken the necessary and upsetting step to cancel Solstice Walk 2020.

The Solstice Walk is our largest fundraising event of the year and brings together hundreds of people to remember and celebrate the lives of loved ones in support of their local hospice.

We hope you can understand that we have no other choice but to cancel this event in the best interests of our participants and wider community. We know you were all keen to continue, however the decision has been made as the most responsible course of action as we have no guarantees that postponing the event to later in the year is going to be possible at this time – we are truly sorry.

We know and appreciate how hard some of you have worked to raise funds – and how disappointing it is for activities and events to be cancelled. 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.

It is clear that staying active and connected is really important at this time and we hope that you continue your support through the many different opportunities and activities we have in response to the current pandemic. Please see www.stgileshospice.com/events to find out more.

With large events like Solstice Walk and Cycle Spring being cancelled, we really have never needed you more than we need you today. We urge you to find another way to support us if you can and help our teams to keep delivering our essential service to our patients and their families.

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 Solstice Walk 2020?

If you had a place in Solstice Walk 2020 we can offer 3 options:

  1. Every participant with a place in Solstice Walk 2020 will be able to transfer their place to Solstice Walk, Saturday 19th June 2021 without any further payment.
  2. If you choose not to participate next year, every ticket holder can still kindly donate their registration fee and any sponsorship raised to St Giles Hospice.
  3. Every participant who chooses not to take part in Solstice Walk 2021 (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 registration fee to St Giles Hospice (see option 2).

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

Many thanks for your continued understanding and support. We couldn’t do what we do without you.

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.
  1. If you choose not to participate every cyclist can still kindly donate their place and any sponsorship raised to St Giles Hospice.
  1. 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. Whilst many of our shops remain closed, in accordance with the latest Government guidance, we are beginning a phased re-opening of selected shops from Monday 22nd June. 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 our current re-opening schedule 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 over these past few weeks. We’ve never needed you more than we need you today, so we look forward to welcoming you back through our doors.

Weekly Lottery

Our lottery draw is continuing to be held weekly. With other areas of our fundraising effected by coronavirus restrictions, the continued 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 the current 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, 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: Our lottery cash collections are restarting in August/September 2020, with new COVID secure collection procedures in place. All cash players should receive a phone call or letter to explain the new procedures. If you would prefer a collector does not call on you at home, please contact us to make alternative payment arrangements. Thank you for your patience and continued support.

One-off weekly tickets:  One-off tickets are currently only available via our website.  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 help and support at this very unusual and difficult time.

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.

Summer Raffle 2020

Our Summer Raffle draw took place on 6th August 2020 – see here for the results. The raffle raised a record breaking £107,100 at a time when we needed your support more than ever. On behalf of our patients and their families, thank you for supporting St Giles at this difficult time.