Coronavirus: Current Information and Advice
Information last updated 10/05/2021 at 10:10am
The symptoms of Covid-19 may be more severe in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term and life-limiting illnesses.
It is important in the current and ever-changing coronavirus situation that we take all reasonable steps to protect the wellbeing of those using our services, our staff and volunteers.
We ask that anyone who is feeling unwell, particularly with a high temperature, a new continuous cough or a loss of smell or taste (anosmia), NOT TO VISIT THE HOSPICE. Please review the latest government advice on what you should do.
Current Advice for Visiting the Hospice
Visitor access to the Hospice is restricted to protect those in our care and our workforce. We are now operating a visiting alert level system to allow for more flexible visiting, in line with the situation at any given time.
Today we are on level PINK, see the ‘Visiting Alert Levels’ tab below for full details about what this means. If unsure before you leave home, call the hospice on 0113 218 5500.
Visiting hours are 9am – 7pm Monday to Friday, 9am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday.
Visitors will need to check-in at the Hospice using the NHS Covid-19 app as part of the NHS Test and Trace service. If you can download the app prior to your visit, please do so and check-in using the QR code upon arrival. If you cannot use the app, our reception team will check you in manually.
At all alert levels, the In-patient Unit will be operating under Covid 19 secure practices and the following will apply:
- If you are unwell in any way, that may suggest you have Covid-19, or are self-isolating because you or a member of your household has or is suspected of having Covid-19, please do not visit the Hospice.
- All visitors will be required to provide their contact details for NHS Track and Trace.
- All visitors over 12 years of age are required to wear a face mask, apron and gloves for the duration of their visit. Visors are also available for use in addition to a face mask, or for visitors who are medically exempt from wearing a face mask.
- All visitors will be required to undertake Lateral Flow Testing.
- Visitors to Covid 19 positive patients should come to main reception, but will then be shown how to access the patient’s bedroom via the garden, and should self-isolate, when not visiting the hospice.
- Visiting hours are:
- 9am – 7pm Monday to Friday
- 9am – 5pm Saturday and Sunday
Our ‘Keep in Touch’ service will help you to keep in contact with your loved one during their stay with us. You will be given more information upon your visit.
We appreciate that this is a very difficult situation and we are doing our best to accommodate individual needs. Please contact our Nurse in Charge for guidance on 0113 218 5500 (24 hours a day).
Visiting Alert Levels
|VISITING ALERT LEVEL||Number of visitors per day?||Number of visitors in last hours of life?||Can the visitors change each day?||Can visitors come and go during the day?|
|PINK||4 (maximum of 2 at any one time)||
(can visit at same time)
|No. The 4 named visitors must be named on admission and cannot change.||No (Each visitor may visit for 1 episode, although duration is not restricted)|
|YELLOW||2||4 (maximum of 2 at any one time)||No. The 2 named visitors must be named on admission and cannot change. At the end of life, an additional 2 named visitors may be added.||No (Each visitor may visit for 1 episode, although duration is not restricted)|
|BLUE||1||2||No. The visitor must be named on admission and cannot change. At the end of life, an additional named visitor may be added.||No (Each visitor may visit for 1 episode)|
Changes to Services
St Gemma’s care continues as fully as possible in these unprecedented circumstances. The current status of our services is as follows:
- The In-Patient Unit remains open. However, visitor access is restricted. Please contact our Nurse in Charge for guidance on 0113 218 5500 (24 hours a day).
- The St Gemma’s community team continues to operate and will continue to see patients in the community, as and when appropriate.
- Our usual Day Services, including drop-in sessions, out-patient appointments and clinics are suspended until further notice. However, we can support you in a different way through our Support, Therapy and Resources (STAR) team including virtual drop-ins, virtual group sessions, and telephone or video consultation. If you are a palliative patient who would benefit from support through the STAR team, you can be referred by a healthcare professional, such as your GP, or ring the service for advice and support on 0113 218 5294. We also have some resources for coping with anxiety, mindfulness, and useful exercises to do at home in our patient hub.
- On-site activity within our Academic Unit is suspended until further notice*. We are running a number virtual training courses, please visit our palliative care training courses webpage for more information. *Training for medical students and nurses on placement continues as normal. For any queries about our Academic Unit activity, please contact 0113 218 5500 during usual office hours.
- The Hospice Bistro is currently closed to the public, including patients’ visitors. Visitors will be able to order food from the wards.
We understand that these changes may cause significant upset and inconvenience. Please be assured that we haven’t taken these decisions lightly and are prioritising the safety and wellbeing of our patients, service users and our workforce.
For specific queries about a current patient, carer or family member and have concerns about your personal situation, please contact us on 0113 218 5500.
Thank you for your support during this challenging time.
West Yorkshire & Harrogate Grief and Loss Support Line
A support line is available to anyone in the region with family members or friends who are critically ill, or who have died from any illness.
The free service offers practical and emotional support and advice. The service is available 7 days a week, from 8am to 8pm.
To access the support line, call 0808 1963833 or visit griefandlosswyh.co.uk.
For further information, please visit www.st-gemma.co.uk/covid19-supportline
While Visiting the Hospice
Visitors are asked to use the hand sanitiser gel at reception and wash your hands regularly.
Please keep your distance from other visitors and staff not involved in the care of your loved one where possible.
You can help to stop the spread of any germs by:
- catching your cough or sneeze in a tissue – bin used tissues straight away
- washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing (use a sanitiser gel, if soap and water are unavailable)
- avoiding close contact with people who are unwell
- not touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
PPE will be provided.
Changes to Our Fundraising Events
St Gemma’s fundraising events (on and off-site) and other activities are being reviewed on a daily basis in line with government and local advice. Please visit events.st-gemma.co.uk for details of individual events and to find out about our virtual events.
We have introduced new guidelines for our fundraising events; read our Covid-19 measures to protect our supporters, staff and volunteers at fundraising events.
How You Can Help
Thank you to everyone who has given generous support at this difficult time. As you may know, we rely on the brilliant community of Leeds to help raise almost 75% of the funds needed to run the Hospice. Unfortunately our charity shops have been closed for many months over the past year and many of our fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed, so we need your support more than ever.
If you are able to, there are many ways you can still support patient care at the moment:
- Set up a monthly donation via our secure website. Any amount will go a long way towards keeping our regular services running.
- If you’re using Amazon, shop via smile.amazon.co.uk You can log into your account as usual, choose to support St Gemma’s from the charity list, and with each purchase you make we will receive a donation at no cost to you.
- Sign up for the Local Hospice Lottery in support of St Gemma’s. You can do this securely online on the Local Hospice Lottery website.
- If you’re signed up for one of our postponed events, consider not asking for a refund. This will reduce the strain on our team at a difficult time and your booking will automatically be transferred to the rescheduled date.
- If your birthday plans or another special occasion has been cancelled, set up Facebook fundraiser and ask your loved ones to contribute.
Information for Shop Customers and Supporters
Our shops are open from 12th April 2021. We look forward to welcoming you through our doors in the coming weeks.
Donations can be brought to our shops from 12th April 2021. Please do not leave items outside of our shops when they are closed. View the latest information regarding our charity shops collection service.
The gift shop in our main reception remains closed.
Support Planning a Funeral During the Pandemic
Losing a loved one and arranging a funeral is challenging in any circumstances, but the Covid-19 pandemic can make things even harder if you are not able to say goodbye in the way you would want to.
We have created a practical guide to organising a funeral during the pandemic, including meaningful ways to celebrate your loved one’s life, where to find support with funeral costs, making faith arrangements, and accessing bereavement support.
Visit www.st-gemma.co.uk/covid19-funeralguide to download the guide.
St Gemma’s Hospice takes the safety and wellbeing of its staff, patients, customers and third parties working with us very seriously. In line with our Hospice values, we have completed comprehensive risk assessments for the Hospice’s operations and services.
For the latest information and guidance on the coronavirus you can visit:
Thank you for your understanding and support.