Update on Coronavirus

(Last updated 15th October 2020)

Visiting Update

Here at St Leonards Hospice we have significantly limited visiting to help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients and their families, communities, individuals and teams remain our absolute priority.
We do understand how important it is for patients to remain connected with their family, friends and carers when they come into the Hospice and we will do everything we can to support their wishes whilst also reducing the risk of transmission of COVID-19. Please do let the ward staff know how you would like to remain connected and receive updates about your relative whilst they are in the Hospice.
On Monday 12th October the Prime Minister announced a new Three Tier System of local COVID-19 alert levels; Medium (Tier 1), High (Tier 2) and Very High (Tier 3), with different restrictions for each level. In line with these new Government restrictions, we have reviewed our visiting policy.  Below is a table to explain the visiting procedures which apply to each Tier.
From Saturday 17th October 2020, York will be moved to the High Tier (Tier 2) so visitors will need to follow the visiting guidelines outlined in the High section of this table.

As well as allowing visitors for patients in the last days of life, each patient can have two people from the same household for up to two separate one hour slots a day.
If more than two people want to visit from within the same household, or if the visitors wish to bring children, please ask them to discuss this with the nurse in charge ahead of visiting.
As well as allowing visitors for patients in the last days of life, each patient can have two people visit from the same household for one hour a day.
(TIER 3)
Last days of life visiting only.
Please also see below additional Government guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable.



  • All visitors will need to adhere to certain procedures and wear PPE, which will be provided upon arrival and explained by a member of staff.
  • Visiting will be staggered and times will need to be agreed upon in advance. Visitors will need to call St Leonards Hospice on 01904 708 553 and speak to Reception who will allocate an agreed time for the visit.
  • Visiting times are restricted to the hours of 9am to 8pm (unless the patient is in the last days of life). Please note that circumstances may arise which mean that visiting will need to be suspended at short notice at the discretion of the nurse in charge. Please check the Hospice website for the latest information on visiting prior to your visit.
  • You will be asked to provide your name and telephone number when you book your visiting time slot so that we can contact you if it is later identified that you may have been exposed to Covid-19 during your visit. If you have been exposed you will need to self-isolate for 14 days at home.
  • Please try to bring as few items into the hospice as possible and keep your own items upon your person.
  • All visitors will be expected to comply with social distancing rules, this means staying 2 metres (6’) apart at all times. Good hand hygiene is vital so you will be asked to wash your hands on arrival (or use alcohol gel).  You will also need to wear the face covering provided while in the Hospice setting, as well as gloves and apron. Please remember that we have taken these measures to keep our staff, patients and visitors as safe as possible from the risks of infection.
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 symptoms of Covid-19, however mild, OR you have received a positive Covid-19 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 of Covid-19 then all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-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 14-day isolation period.

  • Please arrive at your allocated visiting time, not earlier, to avoid having to wait around in the Reception area. Only pre-arranged visitors will be allowed into the Hospice.
  • On arrival, the Receptionist will call for a member of the Ward team to greet you.  They will ask you to confirm you have self-assessed your risks related to Covid-19, as stated above.  You will be asked to use hand gel and be provided with any necessary Personal Protective Equipment (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.
  • Please be mindful of good cough/sneeze etiquette:
    • Catch it – Germs spread easily. Always carry tissues and use them to catch your cough or sneeze.
    • Bin it – Germs can live for several hours on tissues. Dispose of your tissues as soon as possible.
    • Kill it – Hands can transfer germs to every surface you touch. Clean your hands as soon as you can.
    • If you do not have a tissue please direct your cough/sneeze into the crook of your arm.
  • Please be careful about keeping 2 metres (6’) apart from others.
  • Please go 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.
  • Please remove apron and gloves in the patient’s room, but keep your face covering or visor on.
  • Use hand gel when exiting the Ward.
  • There is a PPE bin in Reception for disposal of your face covering.
  • 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.
We have been providing a 'Virtual Visiting' service throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. This is for patients who do not have a phone or tablet of their own. They  can use a Hospice iPad to video call the people who matter to them.  If you would like to video call someone in the Hospice, provided this is the patient’s wish and the patient does not have their own phone or tablet, please ring 01904 708 553 or speak to the Ward directly to arrange.

Keeping You Safe

At this time of great national concern, we hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe. In terms of St Leonard’s Hospice, we can assure you that we are following NHS guidance and have put strict measures in place to protect our patients, volunteers and staff.

Please note, that in response to Public Health England (PHE) guidance - all clinical staff will now wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when they are providing care to patients. This is to protect our patients and staff. 

The need for our care has never been greater and we know that in the coming weeks and months our services will be more in demand than ever, as we support the NHS to ensure that only those patients who specifically need hospital care are admitted and remain in hospital beds.

We want to reass
ure all our patients, volunteers and staff that their welfare is our number one priority and will remain at the centre of every decision we make. We want to thank everyone for their continued support and patience during these unprecedented and challenging times.

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
Support for bereaved adults (age 18+)

Call 01904 777772 Monday to Friday 10am – 4pm (Until 7pm on Thursdays)

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.

Please remember that all our support is conducted over the telephone at the moment. Not sure whether this is for you? Take a look at our leaflet here.

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

We have started a phased re-opening of our 14 charity shops and Donation Centre. Click here for the latest updates.  

Our Events

Fundraising events scheduled to take place over the coming months, including Strictly St Leonard’s, Midnight Walk and the Spring Lunch, have been postponed. Please visit our Events Calendar for updates and information.

As well as protecting patients, staff and visitors, we must also consider the financial impact of COVID-19 on the Hospice

Fundraising events were postponed or cancelled and our shops faced temporary closure which significantly impacted our income.

If you can, we are asking you to please unite behind your Hospice today

At this time of increased need and reduced income, please unite behind your local Hospice, so our fantastic staff can care for everyone that needs us. I know that we all have financial concerns at the moment, but we’ve been truly humbled by the urge people have to help each other at this time. 

Most importantly, we want to make sure you know that St Leonard’s Hospice is here for you

Whether it’s providing activities for kids to do whilst schools are closed to replace the events we can’t host in person, we will be doing all we can to support you.

We are enormously proud of our community, and of the tireless work our staff are still undertaking every day. We are currently working hard to ensure that we can continue to provide the care needed by our patients and their families, not only during the current crisis but long into the future as well. We truly hope you’ll join us in any way you can.

St Leonard’s Hospice has been part of your local community for 35 years and, with your support, we will be here for the next 35 and beyond. We need you now more than ever. You can give now by making a donation online, sending a cheque to St Leonard’s Hospice, 185 Tadcaster Road, YO24 1GL or calling 01904 777 777. Alternatively, consider signing up for Regular GIving, the Weekly Prize Draw or take a look at our Events Calendar.

Thank you for your understanding and continued support.

Want to join in?

Print out the #Unite+Protect logo here and take a selfie or simply display in your window at home. Don't forget to tag the Hospice if you post on social media!