24 January 2022

During the pandemic, our priority is to protect our patients, their visitors, colleagues and volunteers from the spread of infection. We would like to thank everyone for respecting the additional measures that we have introduced to keep our environment as clean as possible and to protect us all.
   
The Executive Team at the Hospice are meeting frequently to ensure that all necessary precautions are taken. We are following Public Health England Guidelines and we encourage you to keep up to date by visiting - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/  

You can find the Government’s latest guidance on shielding and protecting people who are extremely clinically vulnerable from COVID-19 here. 

We are supporting patients who are extremely clinically vulnerable (previous shielding) in their own homes and care homes to follow the current guidance.

If you have any specific questions about your personal circumstances, please speak to your GP or contact our Hospice Community Team on 01622 792200 ext 204

Please keep checking this section of our website for information on how we are continuing to adapt our services.


Our Hospice 

All Hospice teams are continuing to support our patients and their families, remotely or in person as required. In order to protect our services and facilities, we remain closed to the general public, and ask that you only visit the Hospice when invited, or to attend a patient drop-in. All colleagues can be contacted via email or telephone. Please don’t hesitate to call reception on 01622 792200 if you need to leave a message for anyone. 

Whilst we are unable to show people around the Hospice at the moment, we would be pleased to provide a virtual tour. Please contact our Inpatient Unit on 01622 792200 ext 208 to arrange this.

If you do need to enter our Hospice building (patient visitors, professionals or contractors), in line with the latest guidance you need to demonstrate a negative result from a Lateral Flow Test taken on the day of your visit. You will be required to wear the face mask provided and sanitize your hands at the entrance. If additional PPE will be required, our colleagues will advise you.

 

Inpatient Unit

Preventing the spread of infection on our Inpatient Unit is our highest priority. To protect our patients, their visitors and our colleagues, we are closely following the guidance of the Government and our local NHS Trust. This is reviewed daily, so please check this information regularly.

The following applies to all patients who are displaying no symptoms of and have tested negative for COVID-19 who are staying on our Inpatient Unit and all new referrals:

All visitors to our Inpatient Unit will need to demonstrate a negative result from a Lateral Flow Test taken on the day of your visit and wear a fluid resistant face mask.

If required, patients’ visitors will be provided with a box of Lateral Flow Tests and instructions on how to do the test and register their result. Proof of a negative result must be provided to a member of our Inpatient Unit team on arrival (i.e., text or email from NHS Test & Trace). The Hospice team will be available to help visitors with their testing where needed.

Once confirmed negative, appropriate PPE will be provided and visitors will be advised how to put it on, in line with the latest guidance, before entering the Inpatient Unit.

Patients receiving symptom control will be allowed only two visitors each day, between the hours of 2:00pm and 8:00pm. Please call our team on 01622 792200 ext 210  for further information.

If a patient is at the end of their life and shows no signs of COVID-19, two visitors who have provided a negative Lateral Flow Test result can visit at any one time. Visitors may vary.

For all other visitors, our team are dedicated to supporting patients and their loved ones to keep connected during their stay via telephone and video conferencing. To arrange this or speak to a member of the team please call on 01622 792200 ext 210 between 9:00am and 2:00pm.

If visitors are being dropped at the Hospice by another family member, or friend, we recommend that the driver waits in their car for their own protection. Unfortunately, they will not be able to wait inside the Hospice.

If your loved one is at the end of their life and is displaying symptoms or has been diagnosed with COVID-19, please contact our Inpatient Unit directly 01622 792200 ext 210. Visiting will be considered on a case-by-case basis and where we can ensure maximum protection for patients, visitors and colleagues.

  

Hospice Community Team

 Our Hospice Community Team are continuing to adapt and respond to the needs of our patients. Telephone support, video consultations and where necessary, home visits can be provided. Please get in touch for further support and advice Hospice Community Team 01622 792200 ext 204.

 

Hospice Hub

Please note that Hospice Hub sessions will resume from Monday 10 January.

The Hospice is delighted to be welcoming patients and carers to the Hospice Hub service in Magnolia Place. Magnolia Place is a light, airy and cheerful space, where every week Hospice colleagues and volunteers will offer a range of services, many of which operate on a flexible drop-in basis. Patients and carers can socialise, speak to members of the Drop-in Team, and attend optional supportive sessions.

The weekly schedule has been designed so that patients and carers can attend both informal Hub drop-in sessions, to speak with members of the Hospice Hub Drop-in Team, including the dedicated Hub Co-ordinator, Community Palliative Care Specialist Nurse, Complementary Therapist, Welfare Advisor, Chaplaincy and Spiritual Carer, alongside dedicated days for Dementia care and bereavement support.  Full details of the weekly schedule can be found here. A number of supportive and education groups will also be running as part of the Hospice Hub service such as carer’s support group, breathe easy and dietetics and nutrition.

Patients and carers attending the Hospice Hub must demonstrate a negative Lateral Flow Testing taken on the day of your visit and we encourage all Hospice Hub attendees to ensure they are vaccinated against Covid-19 and the flu.

 

Healthcare professionals, work and student placements 

If you are on a work placement, are a student, or support us in a similar patient-facing professional capacity, please contact our Clinical Educator, Jackie Pritchard at jackie.pritchard@hokh.co.uk

If, however you are a qualified healthcare professional and would like to volunteer your skills to support our team in providing care to patients and families please contact Diane JennerHead of People Services at diane.jenner@hokh.co.uk

 

Family Support Team

Despite changes to our family support services, we remain committed to providing you with emotional support, counselling, and welfare advice.

We understand that these are worrying and isolating times for some of our patients and their families, we are starting to reintroduce face to face counselling in covid secure spaces.

If you would like to speak to a member of the team, please call us on 01622 792200 ext 260. If we are not available to pick up the phone when you call, please do leave us a message and we will get back to you as soon as possible (this may be the following day). This link will take you to a printable document of useful contacts which we hope will be of help to you or your family and friends. There is also important information on the NHS and Government’s websites, and this is provided in different languages and formats.

We have also set up a peer-to-peer support group on Facebook which is open to all our patients and their carers. This closed group will enable you to connect and support each other. You can ask one of our team for the details or request to join the Heart of Kent Hospice - Patients and Carers Support Group on Facebook.


Dementia care 

Our Dementia Specialist Team are continuing to support people with dementia and their carers with telephone and email support, video consultations and where necessary, essential home visits.  Please contact the team on 01622 792200 ext  204 or enquiries@hokh.co.uk   

Our next monthly Dementia café held on the first Saturday of every month between 10:30am – 12:30pm, will be Saturday 5 February. 

All attendees will need to demonstrate a negative result from a Lateral Flow Test taken on the day of your visit.  You will be required to wear the face mask provided until seated in Magnolia Place and sanitize your hands at the entrance.

Volunteering  

The health and wellbeing of all our volunteers is paramount to us, they are a vital part of our charity and enable us to deliver our wide range of services.  

Given the breadth of volunteering roles within the Hospice, each department is keeping in touch with the volunteers who support them, so we can manage and monitor everyone’s safety most appropriately; our priority is their safety, along with our patients and colleagues.

Despite the ongoing circumstances, the Hospice depends heavily on the continued support of volunteers, particularly within our retail shops. If you are interested in volunteering in our shops, or other areas of our work, please email volunteers@hokh.co.uk or complete our volunteer application form.

 

Fundraising 

We are hugely grateful to our local community for your continued support and generosity. 

While the pandemic has been challenging for all of us, we’ve seen the most amazing acts of kindness, thoughtfulness, and a resurgence of community spirit. It has further cemented our Hospice’s vital role in the local community and just how vital that compassionate care is. 

We are now dealing with the challenges of recovering our fundraising in order to meet the
increasing demands for our specialist support and advice. We anticipate it will take two years for our fundraising to recover to pre-Covid levels.

You can find out more about our 2022 events here or make a donation here or by calling 01622 790195.  

If you would like to speak to a member of the fundraising team, please call 01622 790195 or email fundraising@hokh.co.uk 

  

Our shops   

Face masks must be worn in all our shops, unless you have an exemption. Please visit the shop section of our website for further information about opening times and restrictions. We are accepting donations but please phone in advance to check whether we have room. Please do not leave anything outside our shops.

If you would like to shop online – please visit our eBay store.

We also have a Facebook group called Heart Of Kent Hospice Shops Group where you can hear all the latest shop news, promotions and plenty of fun and games too.

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