Update 3 July 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/  

The Government has recently updated its guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.  The new guidance for this group is available 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 person 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: 

One nominated visitor (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.  Please call the Hospice Community Team on 01622 792200  ext 204.  We are continuing to provide telephone support. 


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 Café 

Unfortunately, the Dementia café will not take place until further notice.  Please contact our Dementia Specialist Team on 01622 792200 or enquiries@hokh.co.uk. During this period our Dementia Specialist Team remain committed to supporting you and your family with telephone support or via email.  



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.  

For your own protection we must now ask you to follow the government’s advice and stay at home until further notice.  We will continue to keep you up to date with regular communications in the meantime.  

If you are a qualified health professional and would like to volunteer your skills and time to support us through this pandemic, please email diane.jenner@hokh.co.uk.  If you are interested in supporting other areas of our work, please email volunteers@hokh.co.uk and we will be able to respond as things return to normal.  

Fundraising and events 

We have never needed the support of our local community more than we need it now.  In response to a sharp decline in our fundraising activities due social isolation restrictions, we have launched an urgent fundraising appeal.  We depend on fundraising to provide our care. 

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. 

If you have questions relating to any of our fundraising activity, please contact the fundraising team on 01622 790195.     


Our Shops 

We are slowly starting to re-open our charity shops and are working hard to make them as safe as they can be. Understandably there will be some changes to how we welcome customers and also how we receive donations. For more information please visit the Support our shops page https://www.hokh.org/support-us/support-our-shops/ and thank you for your patience and continued support.

We look forward to seeing you soon. 

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