Coronavirus (COVID-19) Services update

Last updated: May 2021

The symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) may be more severe in people with weakened immune systems, older people and those with long term conditions.

We care for people with advanced life-limiting illnesses so it is important that we take all reasonable steps to protect the wellbeing of those using our services, as well as those working and volunteering for St Margaret's Hospice Care.

We are carefully monitoring the changing situation and reviewing the guidelines issued by Public Health England. We are endeavouring to keep our staff and volunteers up to date with the relevant information and would advise everyone to continue to visit the Government website.

Our Executive Team are meeting regularly to consider necessary precautionary steps to minimise the risk of infection with Coronavirus (COVID-19) for patients, families, carers, staff, volunteers and visitors to our hospice hubs.

Patient Information

All patients will be tested for Covid 19 on admission and extra infection control measures will be in place until test results are known.

If a patient is suspected of having the virus, full protective equipment will need to be worn by all staff and visitors at all times. If required, patients can be tested again after their admission if they are showing Coronavirus symptoms.

Many patients develop a high temperature as part of their condition when becoming more unwell. Unfortunately as this is a symptom of the virus we will still need to take full precautions while the cause of the temperature remains uncertain.

We have a duty to protect all of the patients in our hospice from undue risk and to ensure the safety of our staff who we are relying on to provide 24-hour care for those most vulnerable people.

To protect our patients and their families as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, St Margaret’s Hospice Care has reviewed it's day services and outpatient services in Taunton and Yeovil.

Day services are operating in a different way which will include shorter face to face and ‘virtual’ sessions. We are beginning to offer sessions in our Sunflower Centres in Taunton and Yeovil with reduced numbers of attendees and shorter sessions, in addition to ongoing phone support and therapy sessions available on line.

All sessions in the hospice hubs are risk assessed and operate in a Covid secure manner.

This information will be updated as situations change.

We continue to offer support to patients and families via our 24-hour adviceline on 01823 333822 or 01935 709480 and our Community Team continue to work across the county.

St Margaret’s Hospice Care is in regular contact with our health service partners in Somerset and Hospice UK, and continues to monitor the situation closely.

For the latest NHS information regarding Coronavirus click here.

Welcome to St Margaret’s

During the Coronavirus pandemic we are continuing our In-patient services whilst ensuring infection risks are kept to a minimum; as with all other health care settings we have had to make some changes to help ensure the safety of both patients and staff.

Messages to patients staying on our In-patient Unit

As we continue to face restrictions in response to the Coronavirus pandemic we are aware many friends and family members may not be able to visit their loved ones while they are staying in our In-patient Unit. So that family and friends can continue to communicate with patients we have set up a dedicated email address where you can send your a message, attach a photograph or this let your loved one know you are thinking of them. To send your message please include the patient name, your name and message to sendwishes@st-margarets-hospice.org.uk.

Please note that this is a no reply email address, you will only receive a automated response. Emails will be monitored Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm. If messages are received outside of these hours they will be passed on at the first opportunity.

Face Masks

You will see staff wearing face masks at all times not only in the clinical area but also when around the building; we kindly ask all visitors to do the same. Face masks will be provided on arrival at the hospice and are to be worn at all times.

Visiting Information

We are compassionately keeping our patients and staff safe while ensuring patients and their loved ones can have time together.

When admitted to our In-patient ward, patients are asked to identify two key visitors who will be visiting for the duration of their stay.

From Monday 19 July visiting time to the In-patient Unit are between 1.30pm-5pm and 6pm-9pm. Please note there is a maximum of 2 visitors at a time with each patient. Each visit should be no longer than 2 hours within the time periods indicated above. Please help to keep yourself, our patients and staff safe by wearing a face mask at all times.

Visitors need to let the hospice know in advance who will be visiting each day and if afternoon or evening. Visitors will be asked to complete a patient visitor form.

For children under the age of 18, who are living at home within the same bubble, we are not discouraging visiting or counting them as the two named visitors. The exact visiting arrangements for children will be discussed on an individual basis taking into consideration the risk of Covid transmission factors.

Visitors will be required to use hand gel and wear a surgical face mask on arrival at the hospice and additional PPE requirements will be discussed on a patient by patient basis.

Our visiting arrangement are subject to change at short notice if national or local circumstances dicate.

If you are experiencing Coronavirus symptoms, or have been advised to self isolate for any reason, do not visit. Guidance on what are Coronavirus symptoms and what you should do if you have them here.

If you are not a named visitor or you are unable to visit other options of communication are available and encouraged including the use of skype, facetime, teams etc. Please call in advance if you need support with this.

COVID 19 Testing

There may be circumstances where we will ask you to undertake a lateral flow, or rapid result Covid test. For example, visitors coming from out of the area or who have been in contact with others outside their household. You may also be asked to undertake a lateral flow/rapid test as part of a more regular visitor testing programme.

Lateral flow tests take approximately half an hour to indicate if you are Covid positive - you will be supported by staff throughout the process. Whilst waiting for the result of the lateral flow test, you will be asked to wait in a side room or, if preferred, within your car. These tests are not as reliable as the throat and nasal swabs which we cannot process on site, so we will continue to insist that all infection prevention measures are taken if your result is negative. If your test result is positive, next steps will be discussed with you, but it may mean you will not be able to visit your relative at this time.

COVID 19 Vaccine

Even if you have received the Covid vaccine we will continue to ask you to adhere to PPE requirements and guidance in place.

Many thanks for your support with these measures.

We cancelled our 2020 programme of events in response to Governement Guidlines and currently have not confirmed their replacement dates in 2021 while we are still under social distancing guidance and restrictions across the country.

As soon as we are in a position to start confirming our events we will be in touch with our supporters in accordance with their contact preferences or via social media.

The current disruption to our programme of fundraising events will, of course, have a financial impact on St Margaret’s Hospice Care. During these difficult times, we are especially grateful to our loyal supporters for enabling us to continue caring for people across Somerset who are facing a life-limiting illness.

If you would like to make a donation online please click here.

Any supporters fundraising on behalf, or in aid, of St Margaret’s and organising events where groups of people are coming together should follow the official advice via the links below.

As an organisation we are continuing with COVID-19 precautions, to protect volunteers, staff and patients. We are regularly reviewing and facilitating the return of some volunteer roles. We will be contacting volunteers whose roles are currently available. We have created an induction process to follow with each of our returning volunteers. However, we do understand that some volunteers will prefer to support the hospice from home for the time being.

We are looking forward to welcoming our volunteers back to their roles as soon as we are able.

If you have not been contacted but would like to return to your role or discuss alternatives, please do not hesitate to get in contact with the Voluntary Service Coordinators via volunteering@st-margarets-hospice.org.uk.

We are delighted to share that our shops are open!

Our friendly staff and volunteers can't wait to welcome you back. For more information on opening hours, donations and how we are keeping our shops safe on your visit pleaseĀ click here.



 

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Please follow these links for the latest information about Coronavirus:

UK Government: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - latest information and advice

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

NHS: Overview – Coronavirus (COVID-19)

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Public Health England: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - what you need to know

https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/


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Registered Office: Heron Drive, Taunton, TA1 5HA

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