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Coronavirus – spotlight on making a difference

11th April 2020

During these unprecedented times, we have adapted the way we support and care for patients and loved ones. Read a round-up of the many ways in which we continue to care, but in different ways.

See how our Men’s Space patient support group continues to meet from afar; listen to Kevin, our Head of Catering Services, explain his upcoming series of cookery tutorials – and more.

Continuing to care in challenging times

Our fantastic team of hospice nurses are on the front line of caring for patients across Worcestershire during the COVID-19 pandemic. 💙

Whether it’s in our In-patient Unit or out in the community, we are here to offer the best possible care we can during these difficult times.

Our nurses, pictured, wear their personal protective equipment (PPE) of apron, gloves and surgical masks and visors if needed for patient care. Despite the extra layers, the team continues to make sure that each patient and loved one is given the compassion and dignity they deserve.

Our wonderful community teams are working very differently to protect patients and themselves from the spread of the virus and to enable us to meet the extra demands on us right now. Following government guidelines, we’re minimising direct face to face contact where possible to shield patients and families. But we are continuing to care and support people over the phone or by video call, and if a visit is essential our nurses will be there, wearing PPE to make sure everyone is protected.

One of our latest innovations is a 24-hour, enhanced Hospice at Home service, to help patients and their loved ones continue to access our care when they need it.

The service will allow quick access to a senior clinician to help with complex symptom management at the end-of-life and will also provide, and teach, practical, physical care. Other hospice health professionals are also part of the team, allowing faster access to equipment and physiotherapy support.

Our team is working with NHS district nurses to deliver this service, which will help shield our patients from coronavirus infection as far as possible, by enabling them to stay safe in their own homes for as long as they can.

We currently have adequate supplies of PPE and are working with partners to access more as and when we need it.

Please remember, you are not alone, we are continuing to care 💕

A big thank you to all those in our community who have donated PPE equipment including visors and scrubs and disposable car seat covers. These include: Magic Whiteboard, Droitwich Spa High School and Sixth Form, RGS Worcester, Kwikfit, Nunnery Wood High School, and For the Love of Scrubs Worcestershire.

Staying connected from a distance

Our fabulous Family Support Team is continuing to care – just in a host of different ways. We loved seeing the Men’s Space patient group get together for the first time virtually with Zoom.
Social Worker Andy explained, “It occurred to me that we could continue to run the group without being in a room together. The current situation led to all of us being challenged, but often from a challenge comes an opportunity. I think they guys appreciated the fact that we had all made the effort to get together again. They felt valued, respected, and most importantly they go to catch up with their mates. That’s what Men’s Space is all about.”

Find out more about our patient groups here

Heartfelt gifts of love to patients and families

We are appealing for craftspeople/carpenters to create wooden hearts which we can give to our patients in the In-patient Unit and another to their loved one to hold and think of each other when they are apart. 💞

We hope this will bring comfort and some peace during these difficult times.

If you have the skills and can help, we are asking for wooden hearts that can easily be held in one hand, ideally with a wipeable surface.

Please post to the In-patient Unit, St Richard’s Hospice, Wildwood Drive, Worcester WR5 2QT or deliver, if safe for you to do so, to the reception at St Richard’s Hospice at the above address.

Small things can make a big difference

We were very happy to answer a plea this week from a daughter whose father was isolated in his flat above one of our shops and missing contact with his family.

To help make his life a little more cheerful, we have given him free access to our shop wifi while the store is temporarily closed, so he can video call his family.

Sweet treats at Easter

A big thank you to everyone for the sweet donations of Easter eggs for our patients and families which were delivered safely by our staff and volunteers  Happy Easter Monday!

Thanks to Myaware Fighting Myasthenia Together Wilko St Peters Garden Centre and others for your support.

 

Robin’s Story

Among all the uncertainty of these times, we were moved to hear Robin’s story last week.

Robin, 85, has been attending bereavement support groups at St Richard’s after his wife, Val, died 15 months ago.

Our Family Support Team recently gave him a call, and found he needed help with food shopping – as health reasons had forced him to self-isolate.

Unable to get a slot for food delivery, and with his family spread across the country, he was running out of supplies.

Our caring staff quickly arranged for a volunteer who lives the area to pop to the supermarket for Robin, delivering food to his door.

“She really put herself out to get all that I needed,” said Robin. “I was really grateful – I am now stocked up with food for a few weeks. It is absolutely wonderful.

“The comforting thing is, I know if I run short of anything – I can pick the phone up. It is just a relief. A big thank you to everyone who has helped me through this difficult time. It really has been wonderful.”

At this time of great anxiety – it is heart-warming to hear how our teams continue to go above and beyond for the people we support.

Kevin’s cookery tutorials

We know many of you will be shopping and cooking very differently at the moment. You might not be able to get your hands on your usual ingredients – or might be limited in what you feel you can buy.

To help inspire you in the kitchen, our Head of Catering Services Kevin and his team will be putting together some tutorial cookery videos – using store cupboard staples and easily-accessed ingredients.

We want your suggestions too – so, if you have items in your cupboards you’re not sure what to do with, please comment below and we will try to come up with a recipe to inspire you!

We hope these lessons will help you find some fun, and relaxation, in cooking during these difficult times.

Stay tuned for the first tutorial, which will be shared on our YouTube channel and Facebook page.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During this challenging time, we are doing our utmost to continue caring for the patients and loved ones who need us most.

The way we work has been adapted, with many of our services delivered remotely – such as over the phone, or by video call. And we are working closely with other health care professionals in Worcestershire to share knowledge and expertise at this time.

Latest changes at St Richard’s Hospice

  • In-patient Unit: It is with great sadness that due to stringent infection control measures, we are required to restrict visiting and cannot offer the comprehensive level of service in the way we usually do. However, we will still do our utmost to make sure that each patient and loved one is given the compassion and dignity they deserve. To help families stay in touch we are encouraging virtual visiting using technology such as video calls and apps. This will be discussed and explained to patients and families on admission and we can help provide access to equipment in the hospice. In addition, the IPU nursing team will liaise with each patient and family to arrange short daily visits from the patient's closest loved one and compassionate visiting, as appropriate. Read the full details here.
  • Community Nursing: Community services continue to operate, with a mixture of hands-on care and remote support.
  • Living Well and Family Support Services: Switched to virtual model, with care given remotely over the phone or via video call.
  • Shops: All 19 of our shops and warehouse are temporarily closed. Please do not leave donations outside our shops, as we are unable to collect them at this time.
  • Fundraising: All hospice organised events until the end of August have been postponed. If you wish to support us, please donate to our Resilience Fund.

Please do not visit St Richard’s Hospice if you have a high temperature or new, continuous cough. If you have these symptoms, please stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. See NHS advice on coronavirus.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time.