We’ve been listening carefully to advice from the government and are closely following their 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, following the latest advice, we have decided to make some changes to our guidance:
Those wishing to visit patients who are in the last few days or hours of life
Two nominated visitors are now able to visit a patient on the In-Patient Unit. This may include key family members or children under 16 at the discretion of the Clinical Services Manager or Sister in Charge.
Two visitors may attend at the same time as long as they follow our PPE and social distancing procedures.
Visits will be limited to 1 hour. Discretion will be used 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).
Those wishing to visit all other patients
We are now able to allow one compassionate visit per weekend. All patient visits should be planned in advance, with up to two family members able to attend. Family members from the same household may visit the hospice together, but we ask family living in different households to visit separately.
Visits will be arranged on a Friday by a member of the Kirkwood team, who will telephone you to arrange a suitable day and time for your visit.
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 note that this guidance is subject to change and will be regularly reviewed.