We’ve been listening carefully to advice from the government and acknowledge the further restrictions in Kirklees. We continue to closely follow the government's recommendations to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission to our patients, who are most vulnerable, visitors and our employees.
For these reasons we made the difficult decision to close the hospice to visitors back in April. However, we did make changes and following the latest advice on 31st July 2020, we have decided we do not need to make further changes to our current visitors guidance:
We are able to accommodate daily one hour visits. All patient visits should be planned in advance, with up to two visitors able to attend. Named visitors are not changeable and must remain the same for the duration of admission. Members of the same household may visit the hospice together, but we ask those living in different households to visit separately. Visits will be arranged at the start of each week by a member of the Kirkwood team, who will telephone you to arrange a suitable day and time for your visits.
When visiting the In-Patient Unit, we encourage the use of outdoor space such as our garden and bedside terraced area.
On each visit, you will be asked to use alcohol based hand gel and put on an apron, gloves and a mask prior to entering the In-Patient Unit. Your mask must only be removed as you leave the reception area - please place in the bin provided and gel your hands.
You will also be asked some screening questions and if it is identified that either yourself or a member of your household has symptoms of COVID-19 you will not be permitted entry into the building.
We ask that you remain socially distanced from your loved one and others during your visit as per national guidance and that you remain in designated areas for the duration of your visit unless asked by a member of the team to leave (they will direct you to an area where you can wait) should they need to attend your loved one.
Employees will be wearing the appropriate PPE as outlined in the national guidance during this time.
Those wishing to visit patients who are in the last few days or hours of life
Visits will be up to four hours, although our team will use their discretion if a patient is in the last few hours of life.
If a patient is expected to die imminently, our team will call in two family members (this may be extended to other key family members and will be agreed by the senior Nurse and Doctor).
Unfortunately, overnight stays are not permitted at this time.
We understand that every patient’s circumstances are different and, where appropriate, we may be able to make exceptions to our guidance on visiting the In-Patient Unit.
These exceptions may include instances where a patient is at greater risk of distress, such as those with learning difficulties, language difficulties or dementia. We may also make exceptions if our team believes that a patient is experiencing significant psychological distress.
General Information for those wishing to visit a patient
Unfortunately, we aren’t able to allow children under the age of 16 to make visits at the moment (exceptions may be made for those wishing to visit a patient in the last few days or hours of life).
We continue to advise against anyone who is immunocompromised visiting the In-Patient Unit.
All visitors to the In-Patient Unit will be verbally screened to check that they do not have symptoms associated with Covid-19. These symptoms include a new persistent cough, higher than normal temperature and loss of taste/smell. We will also ask if you have had any contact with people known or suspected to have Covid-19.
We will also ask you to follow our strict hand hygiene procedures and follow our guidelines on the use PPE throughout your visit, as directed by the Kirkwood team.
We know that not being able to visit as often as usual will be difficult for many of you. We hope you understand that we have not taken the decision to restrict visitors to the hospice lightly. Our priority is to make sure our patients and those looking after them are protected as much as possible, and we really appreciate your understanding.
If you or a family member is due to be admitted to our In-Patient Unit, we encourage you organise some form of communication to keep you connected during your stay. This could be via WhatsApp, Facetime or the use of a mobile phone.
We also have devices available on the In-Patient Unit to help people stay in touch with loved ones.
Please do not visit the hospice if you are feeling unwell
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), you must stay at home (self-isolate) and get a test.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.
What to do if you have symptoms
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:
- Stay at home (self-isolate) – do not leave your home or have visitors. Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also self-isolate.
- Get a test – get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible. Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, should also get a test if they have symptoms. You can find out more using the NHS 111 online coronavirus service: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-an-antigen-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus
Please note that this guidance is subject to change and will be regularly reviewed.