A Message from Havens Hospices Chief Executive Steve Smith – 17th March 2020
Everyone matters at Havens Hospices. Not only our patients, families, employees and volunteers, but our supporters too. So it’s important that I keep you up to date on the part we’re playing in the Coronavirus outbreak.
At the moment, we are still taking admissions and providing care in patient homes – from a care-perspective, it is ‘business as usual’ but this could change at any time.
These are the steps we are taking across our hospice care services:
- Internally isolating our care areas, with only essential staff entering the Care Floors at both Fair Havens and Little Havens
- Asking all visitors to both our hospices whether they are displaying any symptoms or have travelled to any of the affected countries in the last two weeks, and asking the same question of families receiving care in the community
- Undertaking advanced risk assessments for any social/group/therapeutic activity to decide whether we need to postpone the activity
- Ensuring visitors thoroughly sanitise their hands at entry/exit/key points around the hospices
- Both our hospices will continue to admit patients as usual, following usual isolation and reporting procedures if they display signs of an infection
- Increasing our housekeeping activity, concentrating on cleaning public areas such as doors, handrails and handles
Where possible, our support services are working from home but those who make a direct contribution to our patient care – nursing staff, housekeeping, catering and maintenance – are working incredibly hard to make sure our hospices can stay open.
This ‘front-line’ workforce are still risking their own health to provide hospice care to others and we cannot thank them enough.
We have suspended all volunteering except our charity shops whilst they remain open. Any staff or volunteers within the ‘at risk’ categories are being asked to self-isolate in line with government guidelines.
There is no easy way to put this – our ability to raise the money needed for our care services is going to suffer. The London Marathon has been postponed which means this income – around £200,000 – will be delayed. We’re also looking to reschedule some of our upcoming public fundraising events. Full details will be posted on our Havens Hospices Fundraising page.
Whilst your focus rightly needs to be on yourself and your loved ones now, I would like to make a personal plea for you to still do what you can to support Havens Hospices during these times. No matter how big or small, your gift or gesture will help us continue ‘Making every day count’ for the patients and families who need us more than ever.
Our website and social media sites gives ideas on ways which you can keep your support going during these uncertain times.
This situation is changing hourly, and we will endeavour to keep everyone at Havens Hospices informed on how this affects their care, employment, volunteering or fundraising efforts.
I have no doubt that, as a charity, we will get through this. There are some tough times ahead for us all. We’ve faced some incredible challenges over the last 37 years, and this may just be our toughest one yet. But I have faith that our dedicated and passionate supporters will do all they can to keep focusing on our Vision – ‘Making every day count.’
Thank you for all that you have done, and all that you continue to do.