(Updated Thursday, November 5 – 2pm)

During these unprecedented times, when information regarding the Covid-19 virus is changing daily, we would like to assure our families, supporters, volunteers and staff that we are following Public Health and NHS advice and working hard to maintain services while keeping everyone safe.

Please see further guidance below for families, supporters, volunteers and staff.

Coronavirus Shutdowns:

As of Thursday, November 5, England returns to a national lockdown until December 2, while in Wales the national lockdown continues until Monday, November 9.

We want you to know that our doors will remain open at both our Tŷ Gobaith and Hope House hospices and we will continue to provide the care and support our children and families need. Our care team have been getting in touch with each family to reassure them that our services will continue. If you need anything then please give us a call. You are not alone, we are here for you 24 hours a day.

Our staff have also been advised about travelling in these areas, and visiting our buildings will be kept to a minimum and only where necessary by staff who cannot otherwise perform their jobs from home. 

In line with Government guidance our shops in England and Wales will be closed be closed during the respective lockdown periods. 

Our Families:

We are committed to maintaining as many of our services as possible and will be making changes on an ongoing basis.

Nursing care continues at Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith, where we are prioritising providing end of life care and crisis nursing care.

We are working to support the NHS and free up hospital beds and resources, helping to avoid children with life limiting conditions from being admitted to hospital, and supporting children who have been discharged early from hospital for specialist care.

Telephone support and advice, and online support, is available to families whose child is at home. 

Telephone support is also available to anyone who has been receiving counselling, and our social workers continue to help with crisis situations.

We are planning for the worst and working for the best. We are as committed as ever and will do everything in our power to take care of one another.

We will keep in touch with you through this time, but please don’t hesitate to ring the hospices to see if we can help.

Online Resources For Families:

We have set up some special pages on our websites especially for children and families, where you can find activities, advice and ideas that might prove helpful, along with some videos we have made just for you.

Siblings Activities With Mary

Sensory Stories to Enjoy

Activities for Everyone

Therapy Ideas and Advice

More helpful online support and advice can be found here:

https://www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk/get-support/supporting-you/family-resources/coronavirus-qa/

Our Supporters:

Never before has your continued support been so vital to Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith. As many of you are already aware, around 80% of the cost of providing essential care to our children and families is met by your donations and fundraising.

In line with Government advice on social distancing, we have had to cancel many of our forthcoming events. Our fundraising team will be in touch to let you know about any changes and, where possible, new dates.

If you have an event or fundraiser planned for our charity and would like advice, or to chat through any concerns, please call our fundraising teams – Hope House on 01691 671671 or  Tŷ Gobaith on 01492 596581.

To protect our vulnerable children, we are asking supporters not to call personally at the hospices until further notice, but we would be forever grateful if during this crisis you are able to support us further by making donations online, or by post.

Our Shops:

All of our shops in England are closed until Thursday, December 3, and our six shops in Wales will be closed until Monday, November 9 in line with the lockdown guidance in both countries. 

*To safeguard our children and families, please also do not bring stock to the hospices.*

Our Volunteers:

We are so lucky to have such brilliant volunteers who donate time, knowledge and experience to help us.

We are currently putting measures into place to enable our shop volunteers to safely return to help at their local store if they would like to.

Our Staff

We have an amazing team at Hope House Children’s Hospices and we have been bowled over by everyone's enthusiasm, flexibility and sheer determination to continue supporting local children and families during these difficult times.

In line with Government recommendations, we are implementing strict measures to minimise infection risk, and asking non-care members of staff to work from home where possible.

Our Senior Management Team is providing daily updates to all staff, and by pulling together as one team, supporting each other and remaining calm we will work through whatever this pandemic brings.

https://www.hopehouse.org.uk/News/chancellor-announces-emergency-funding-for-hospices

COVID-19 RISK ASSESSMENT

Updated October 2020

Detailed risk assessments and action plans have been completed and enacted for all locations and functions within Hope House Children’s Hospices and are available on request.

The following summarises the risks and actions identified at an organisational level, to inform interested parties of the approach taken. All references to staff include volunteers.

Risk

Action

Transmission of the virus from staff to staff and/or to and from staff from their work environment or contacts and the general public

· Control measures in place regarding cleaning, and the use of PPE.

· Temperature checks completed on entry to hospices and office buildings.

· Rearrangement of spaces and schedules to facilitate adequate social distancing.

· Staff who can work from home to do so.

· Monitoring of published guidance and updates to practices as required.

· Face to face meetings restricted to a maximum of 6 people

 

Visitors bringing/receiving infection in Hope House facilities

 

· Visits are being limited to families of children in care, other essential visitors by invitation, and necessary maintenance contractors.

· The Hospices are divided into Red (high COVID-security) Zones where appropriate PPE is mandatory, and Green Zones (normal COVID-security, including ability to maintain social distancing), where most visitors will remain.

· Invited visitors to any building will be briefed before attending and on arrival, including the necessity of undertaking temperature testing, and wearing PPE including a face mask in a Red Zones.

 

Protection of higher risk staff groups such as BAME or elevated vulnerability such as over 70 and underlying medical conditions

 

· Such staff to work from home if possible.

· Workplace controls in place including PPE.

· Redeployment to lower risk environments/ roles considered, once level of vulnerability has been assessed using the bespoke COVID risk assessment questionnaire.

 

Transmission between service users and staff in the hospices or on home visits

 

· Control measures in place regarding cleaning and the use of PPE/barrier nursing.

· Temperature checks completed on entry to hospices and office buildings. · Home visits currently minimised to urgent and necessary nursing care only.

 

Transmission between staff and supporters (or amongst supporters) at events or in Hope House facilities

 

· All Fundraising events involving proximate contact cancelled until further notice.

· External and socially distanced events are permitted, subject to rigorous local COVID-security risk assessment.

· Most ongoing fundraising activity is now via ‘virtual’ events.

Transmission between staff and customers in Hope House Children’s Hospices shops

· All shops have reopened.

· Signing, social distancing, screens, occupancy limits, and other measures are in place to protect shoppers and staff.

· Special 48-hour isolation and stock handling measures are in place to enable acceptance of donations from the public.

· Extra storage facilities have been used to create isolation capacity. · All customers and staff on the shop floor must wear a face covering in accordance with Government guidance.

· Extra sanitisation is occurring.

· Changing rooms are closed.

Organisational controls

· Frequent re-appraisal of protective measures in line with changes to government guidance.

· Frequent briefings to all staff, and to certain teams, using social media within the organisation.

· Regular retraining in the use of PPE.