Update on Coronavirus

Important information about our visiting process
The health and safety of our patients and those close to them, our staff and local communities, remain our absolute priority during this pandemic. As the lockdown is gradually being lifted, we are also lifting some of our visiting restrictions. Lateral Flow Testing, the wearing of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and social distancing will still be required.
At the present time we are able to offer the following for face-to-face visiting:

For patients thought to be in the last days of life:

No overnight stays are permitted, unless deemed appropriate by the nurse in charge.

Each patient can nominate four named visitors.  Two visitors will be able to visit together at any one time. If necessary, the four visitors can be on site at the same time but, due to social distancing restrictions, only two can be at the patient’s bedside together.  The hours of visiting for these four visitors will be 10:00 – 20:00.

For patients thought not to be at end of life:

Each patient can nominate four named visitors. Two visitors will be able to visit together at any one time for up to four hours only per day.

The chosen visitors will be agreed as part of our admissions process and must remain the same throughout the patients’ stay.
Virtual visiting service

We do understand how important it is for patients to remain connected with all of their loved ones and our virtual visiting service will facilitate this.
We are able to organise regular Zoom, Facetime or Skype calls. We can also set these up whilst the chosen visitors are visiting, so they can share the experience, or during medical rounds, if the patient wishes. If patients do not have a phone or tablet of their own they can use a Hospice iPad. Please speak to Family Liaison to arrange your virtual visiting plans.
Lateral Flow Testing (LFT)

  • All visitors will be required to undertake a lateral flow test on a daily basis.
  • A visiting time will be agreed upon for the first visit to ask screening questions, this will be arranged when phoning the Hospice. During your first visit, we will explain about PPE use, social distancing and we will carry out a lateral flow test which takes approximately 30 minutes. The whole process may take up to an hour. Once this has been completed you will be escorted onto the in-patient unit to begin your visit.  Your allocated time will then start when you are with your relative.
  • At this first visit you will be asked about whether you are able to complete a lateral flow test at home. If you are able to do this at home, we will ask you to watch an information video about how to conduct a lateral flow test and provide information to you about the LFT packs we will give out. This will include how to register the test for NHS Test and Trace, as you will be required to register to input your results.
  • Once you are able to conduct your own LFT, you can arrange an approximate time to visit the Hospice within the agreed time duration. You must show evidence of a negative LFT each time you visit.
  • If you are unable to manage a lateral flow test yourself, you must continue to book an appointment for timed visiting. You will complete a LFT with a member of the Hospice team. In addition, you will be asked screening questions and asked to wear the appropriate PPE.
Prior to visiting
  • Whether this is your first visit or a return lateral flow test visit, visiting times will need to be agreed upon in advance. Visitors will need to call St Leonards Hospice on 01904 708 553 to arrange this. You will be asked COVID-19 screening questions prior to your visiting.
  • Please don’t bring any personal items into the Hospice without prior approval. You may bring your own drinks and food if you are staying for a period of time, but please be mindful that you will be expected to wear PPE at all times except when you are eating and drinking.
Visiting procedures

All visitors will need to adhere to our strict visiting procedures, outlined below:
When you arrive at the Hospice:

  • Please arrive at your agreed visiting time, not earlier, as you will have to go through our screening procedures ahead of your visit. Only pre-arranged visitors will be allowed into the Hospice.
  • All visitors will be expected to comply with social distancing rules, this means staying 2 metres (6’) apart at all times.
  • If it is your first visit, or if the Hospice is carrying out your lateral flow test, you will be asked to proceed to the Visiting Room on arrival. Here we will take your temperature and carry out the lateral flow test. You will be asked to remain in the Visiting Room until we have the results of the test.
  • If your test is positive then you must leave the Hospice immediately and arrange for a PCR (nose and throat swab self-test). The link here explains how to get this test: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. You will need to self-isolate until you receive the results of this test and if this test does come back positive you will need to self-isolate for 10 days at home.
  • If you are carrying out the lateral flow tests at home then you will be asked to show evidence of a negative test result to our Receptionist on arrival at the Hospice. Your temperature will also be taken. If the test carried out at home is positive then please do not come to the Hospice and follow the above guidance.
  • Following a negative test result you will be asked to wash your hands and use the hand gel provided. You will then be provided with the necessary PPE which will include face covering, apron, and gloves. 
  • We know there are some circumstances that people are not able to wear a face covering. We will be mindful and respectful of such circumstances and you will be offered a visor to wear.
  • You will then be escorted directly to the patient’s room.
  • Please note that you will be required to sit at a safe distance of 2 metres (6’) from the person you are visiting in a designated visitor’s chair.
  • If your visiting is interrupted for any reason (e.g. a conversation with nursing or medical staff) where possible your visiting time will be extended accordingly.
  • If you leave the in-patient unit for any reason you will be asked to remove gloves and aprons and wash your hands before leaving the patient area and don fresh when you return, if you remain in the building i.e. to go sit in the garden room you can keep the same facemask on unless instructed otherwise by the nursing team.
At the end of your visit:

  • Please ring the call bell and a member of Ward staff will come along and ask you to remove your apron and gloves – please keep your face covering on. You will also be asked to wash your hands and use hand gel.
  • The member of our Ward team will then escort you to our reception area where you will be asked to remove your face covering and dispose of it in the designated PPE bin.
  • Please use the hand gel provided when exiting the Hospice.
PLEASE NOTE: If you have a positive result from a COVID-19 swab within 48 hours of visiting, call the Ward and speak to the Nurse in Charge.

COVID-19 Symptoms & Self-Isolation Guidance
Do not leave home if you or anyone else in your household has symptoms or has been asked to self-isolate due to contact with COVID-19. The main symptoms of Covid-19 are the recent onset of any of the following:

  • A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature.)
  • A new continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough it may be worse than usual).
  • A loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).
If you have any of these symptoms, however mild, OR you have received a positive test result, the clear medical advice is to immediately self-isolate at home for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. Do not come to the Hospice.
If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, you feel breathless and it's getting worse, or your symptoms get worse and you're not sure what to do use the NHS 111 online COVID-19 service. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot get help online.  For a medical emergency dial 999.
If you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms then all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days. The 10-day period starts from the day when the first person in the household became ill. If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they must stay at home for at least 10 days from when their symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in their original 10-day isolation period.

Our Smoking Policy

St Leonard’s Hospice is strictly a no smoking site and we do not allow smoking either inside the building or outside in the Hospice grounds. This applies to both patients and their visitors. This policy is explained to all patients as part of our admissions process. Nicotine therapy is available to those requiring it.
Our Services 

In-patient Unit & Hospice@Home
As a Hospice the need for our care has never been greater. 
We are continuing to operate as normally as we can and our priority is keeping the Hospice@Home service and all of our 20 In-patient beds open, so we can respond to patient needs and support the NHS. For the time being, Hospice@Home and Community Palliative Care service have integrated their services. We have increased our already stringent infection prevention and control measures around the In-patient Unit (IPU), including restricting footfall through the area.

Sunflower Centre & Lymphoedema Service
 we have had to make some changes meaning the Sunflower Centre and all its associated services, along with the Lymphoedema Service, has been suspended for the foreseeable future. We have put together some Virtual Advice & Support resources to help patients remotely.

Bereavement Support
Our highly experienced team is committed to delivering the highest standards of support to adults (aged 18+) in our local community. You do not have to have a connection with the Hospice to access our help.
Although we can’t do it face-to-face just yet we are available on the telephone.
Call 01904 708 553 to self-refer for ongoing bereavement support, where you will be directed to a member of our team.

Call 01904 777 772 for immediate, in the moment support. This support line is open Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm in partnership with ‘Just B’ Bereavement Support where we will...

• talk through with you the best way we can support you
• be a listening ear if you need someone to talk to
• offer emotional support enabling you to talk openly about your feelings
• signpost you to other services and resources that you might find helpful, if needed

At busy times we may not be able to take your call immediately. PLEASE CALL BACK IF LINES ARE BUSY.

Referral Information
Click here to find our latest referral information.

Virtual Advice & Support
Our teams have been working hard to provide help and support in other formats. Please see our Virtual Advice & Support page for therapeutic support that may be helpful at this time. We have also uploaded digital bereavement support resources for both adults and children. We hope you find this information helpful. 
Thank you to our fantastic staff and community for supporting us as this challenging time.

No flowers
 at the moment - thank you 

Please can we kindly request that at this time Funeral Directors do not donate flowers from funerals. Thank you for your cooperation, it is much appreciated. 

Coronavirus - if you’re affected by a life-limiting illness

If you, or a family member or friend, are living with a life-limiting illness, you may be worried. Some people living with a life-limiting illness may be at higher risk of experiencing more serious complications from coronavirus. We have some general information here that you might find helpful.

Our Shops

Our 12 shops and our Donation Centre in Acomb are now open! Click here for the latest updates.  

Our Events

Please visit our Events Calendar for updates and information.