The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice purpose is to provide the highest standards of care for people with life-limiting conditions. We are also responsible for ensuring the health and safety of all our patients, their visitors, our staff and our volunteers.
We are closely following national guidance on dealing with coronavirus (COVID-19). We will continue to be led by national guidance on this evolving issue, but our greatest priority will remain caring for our patients at their most vulnerable time.
We have taken a number of actions in response this guidance.
- We are asking anyone coming to the hospice to refrain from entering if they are showing any symptoms of a cough or high temperature.
- The public areas within the hospice have been closed for the foreseeable future. This includes our education suite, our café and our shop. We will continue to provide all meals for our inpatients and any staff who require them.
- All fundraising events will be postponed for the foreseeable future. Our fundraising team will be making contact with all participants who have booked for upcoming events.
- Restricted visiting is now in place within the hospice. We have discussed with each individual patient and their families about reducing the number of visitors who come into the hospice. This will be dependent on each patient’s circumstances and choice. At all times the patient’s clinical condition remains our highest priority. We are fortunate that all our inpatients are cared for in single ensuite rooms which allows for isolation if required.
- Our outpatients’ clinics and day services have been suspended. Our community nurses will assess each individual patient and if appropriate will provide support without the need for face-to-face review (signposting to guidelines, telephone support to patient, family and other health care professionals, or attend anywhere support) . Any patient with a high symptom burden who cannot be reviewed by non-face to face methods will be individually risk assessed to ensure we continue to provide the most appropriate service for them. Members of the wider team will maintain contact with our day service patients offering support to reduce social isolation.
- Our counselling service will be available by telephone to those who wish it. Bereavement groups and the Creative drop-in sessions have been cancelled for the foreseeable future and again other forms of non-face to face support will be offered.
- Most office-based staff are being equipped to allow them to work from home to limit contact and risk of transmission.
- Our 17 hospice shops remain open on a flexible basis. Each one will operate based on their individual circumstances. Our shop managers have been provided with advice and support including posters and hand hygiene advice. We are asking anyone who is showing symptoms of a cough or high temperature to refrain from entering our shops.
- Our volunteers are vital to the hospice and we greatly appreciate them for their support. However, we also have a responsibility to ensure they are not put at any increased risk through their voluntary activities. Therefore, if anyone:
Is 60 years old or over
has underlying poor health
has heart or lung problems
has a weakened immune system, including cancer
they should not attend for any volunteering activities for the foreseeable future. We will remain in contact and advise of any change in the situation.
Rhona Ballie, Chief Executive of The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice, comments: “We are in unprecedented times just now. While the next few months are certain to be challenging for the hospice, we will remain focussed on what we are here for – to provide the highest possible clinical care for our patients.
“We will work as a team throughout this outbreak and will ensure we provide updates as and when we can during this fast-moving and continually evolving situation.
“We are well placed to deal with this situation and I would like to reassure our patients and their families that we have well-rehearsed contingency plans in place which will allow us to plan and deliver our clinical services into the future.”
“We have put measures in place within the hospice to limit any spread of infection. These include access to the building through one entrance, hand hygiene gel available at all points throughout the hospice, single ensuite inpatient rooms which allow for isolation if required and enhanced cleaning procedures.
“We will continue to put our patients’ care at the forefront of our plans in the coming weeks and months. I thank you for your support during this time of uncertantiy.”
The hospice will remain contact with our partners in health and social care and the health board and will be guided by national advice.
Updates on public health advice for coronavirus can be found on the NHS Inform website, and a free helpline has been set up for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice: 0800 028 2816.