Update 21 September 2020

During the current outbreak of Covid-19 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 daily to ensure that all possible 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 clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19 here.

We are currently reviewing our advice for the patients we support who are living at home, or in a care home.  Whilst we work through the implications of any changes, we recommend that patients continue to shield.  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

Please do not visit our Hospice until further notice.  Whilst we continue to run our Inpatient Unit, most of our colleagues are continuing to work, and support our patients and their families, remotely.  They can be contacted via email or have their telephones diverted which means that you can contact them in the usual way.  Please don’t hesitate to call reception on 01622 792200 if you need to leave a message for anyone. 

If you do need to enter our Hospice building, in line with the latest guidance, you will be required to wear your own face covering 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 in 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: 

Two nominated visitors (who must be aged over 12 years) can visit a patient receiving symptom control after 2pm for up to six hours each day the patient is staying with us.  All other family and friends can be supported to keep connected via telephone and video conferencing with the support of our dedicated Family Liaison team.  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 a patient is at the end of their life and shows no signs of COVID-19, two designated people (who must be aged over 12 years) can visit the patient.  These must be the same people for the entire duration of the patients stay.   

If the designated 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 clinical drop-in and Hospice outpatient appointments   

We are unable to offer our usual clinical drop-in and outpatient appointments at the Hospice until further notice.  However, our Hospice Community Team are continuing to adapt and respond to the needs of our patients.  Telephone support, video consultations and where necessary, essential home visits can be provided. Please call the Hospice Community Team on 01622 792200  ext  204 for further support and advice. 


Healthcare professionals, work and student placements 

All professional visit arrangements are cancelled until further notice.  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 on 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 Jenner, Head of People Services on diane.jenner@hokh.co.uk 


Family Support and Living Well   

While our normal Living Well and Making Memories programmes are postponed until further notice, we are delighted to offer some Living Well activities online, you can find further information about these HERE.  Please contact our Living Well Team on 01622 792200 ext 258 or email fstlivingwell@hokh.co.uk to book or if you have any questions regarding these activities.  

Despite changes to our family support services and Living Well programme, 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, but even though we can’t see you face to face we are still here for you.   If you would like to speak to a member of the team, please call us Monday – Friday mornings on 01622 792200 ext 260 or email fst@hokh.co.uk  If we are not available to pick up, please do leave us a message, as the answerphone is checked daily and we will get back to you as soon as possible. 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

Our Stepping Stones bereavement group and bereavement drop-in are cancelled until further notice. We are still able to offer you emotional support over the telephone on Thursday mornings 10:00am– 12:00pm. Please call the team on 01622 792200 ext 259/260, or email us fst@hokh.co.uk 


Dementia care  

Unfortunately, our Dementia café cannot currently take place, we are however working towards resuming the café virtually via zoom from September.  Further details will be provided here as they become available.  In the meantime, 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   



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

We are eager to support the safe return of our volunteers and are working with individual teams to identify where this is possible and needed most urgently.  Thank you for your co-operation whilst we work through this. 

We are also seeking new volunteers, to help across our network of 14 charity shops in particular. 

If you are interested in volunteering in our shops, or other areas of our work, please emailvolunteers@hokh.co.uk or complete our volunteer application form.

Fundraising and events 

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

Whilst we are unable to resume many of our traditional fundraising activities at the moment, we are excited to be offering new ways for individuals, families and groups to fundraise for us, like our Summer of Fun . 

We depend on fundraising to provide our care and enjoy offering our community a range of ways in which you can choose to support us.  We are currently planning alternative options for our popular Moonlit Walk and activities in the lead up to Christmas and will share these with you as soon as we can. 

In the meantime, please let us know about the fundraising that you are doing for the Hospice, and we will be happy to support you in ensuring that your activity will be successful, and within the latest fundraising and government guidelines. 

Our Urgent fundraising appeal continues to be essential, as the impact of the cancellation of fundraising activities and the closure of our shops earlier in the year impacted us greatly.  You can make a donation to our appeal here:  https://www.hokh.org/donation-appeal  or call 01622 790195.   

To speak to a member of the fundraising team please call 01622 790195 or email fundraising@hokh.co.uk.     


Our shops  

We are delighted that many of our charity shops are re-opening and we are working hard to make them as safe as they can be. Understandably there are some changes to how we welcome customers and how we receive donations.  We are incredibly grateful for your patience and co-operation as we adapt to new measures, including the requirement for all shoppers to wear a face-covering from Friday 24 July. 

For more information on the re-opening of our shops and the locations where we are able to accept donated items please visit the Support our shops page https://www.hokh.org/support-us/support-our-shops/ 

We look forward to seeing you soon. 

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