Please read the latest coronavirus advice before visiting any of the hospice sites.

Keeping you safe – information on coronavirus

(Updated 11/08/20)


In response to the spread of coronavirus we have decided to introduce the measures outlined below in line with advice and guidance issued by the World Health Organisation and the UK Government.

We would like to thank you in advance for your cooperation and support in these exceptional circumstances.

If you have any concerns, please contact Amanda Mayo, Care Director, on or Jan Noble, Director of Quality and Innovation, on You can also call the hospice on 020 8768 4500.

Visiting St Christopher’s

During the current outbreak of Covid-19 we have had to restrict access to the hospice buildings for family members and friends of patients on the inpatient unit. We have done this to ensure that staff and volunteers working on the IPU are safe, and also to ensure the safety of our patients.

We know that for a person who is very ill, the presence of family and friends is supportive and welcome and we would like to ensure we remain as open as we can be, while putting in place measures to prevent any possible spread of Covid-19.

We have developed the following policy, which will be in place for the foreseeable future.

  • Visiting remains restricted to two named people however these two named people can now visit together whether or not they live in the same household
  • Before admission all patients will be asked to nominate two people who will be allowed to visit them during their admission to the IPU
  • The names of the patient’s chosen visitors will be given to reception staff
  • We have reduced our visiting hours to between 8am and 8pm
  • On arrival at St Christopher’s, please advise reception of the person you have come to visit. We will ask any visitor not to come into the hospice if they are not one of the two named visitors
  • You will then be asked to complete the screening questionnaire. This is important as we are asking you to confirm that you do not have any symptoms of Covid-19 and that you have not been in contact with another person who is symptomatic of Covid-19. It is very important that you do not come to the hospice if you have the any of the following symptoms:

A high temperature of over 37.8 degrees – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back

A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.

  • When entering the hospice, you must now wear a face covering (unless the patient is Covid-19 positive where a surgical mask is required) for the whole time you are in the building. If you haven’t brought one with you, we may be able to give you a single use mask. If you do not wear a mask, you will not be able to visit the patient and will be asked to leave. We may also ask you to wear gloves and an apron during your visit to ensure we reduce any risk of infection spreading.
  • You will also be asked to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water when entering the hospice and use the alcohol gel provided when entering the ward areas or in patient rooms
  • Please ensure you keep ‘one metre plus’ away from other people. You may be asked to follow one-way systems to help us all stay apart. If social distancing cannot be maintained in our ward areas, you may be asked to visit at another time.

During an admission, a patient may, after conversation with the ward manager, amend their named visitors. Reception will be informed of the change(s).

We want to ensure that the children of a patient admitted to the IPU are not disadvantaged from visiting a parent. Children can be included as named visitors by a patient. In consultation with the ward staff, other children of the patient (not named as a visitor) may visit as long as they visit with a named visitor.

When a patient is dying, we will do our best to enable more visitors than the two named to visit. We know how important being present with a family member is in the last hours; for the patient and for relatives.

A senior nurse will speak to the named visitors and in consultation will decide an appropriate number of additional visitors. Please follow the instructions of the nursing staff around visiting at this time. In this circumstance, visiting hours will not apply.

We understand how difficult it is for everybody at this time. Thank you for working with us to prioritise everyone’s safety.

Information for patients, families and carers

Understandably, many people have concerns about their health and care needs in light of coronavirus and we are doing everything we can to continue to support our patients, their carers and their families. This isn’t without its challenges and we will need to work differently to make sure we are there for everyone who needs us. We also need to put in place measures to ensure our staff remain healthy and are able to provide this service in the coming weeks and months. That’s why we are providing support for outpatients and people we are supporting at home over the phone or by video call as well as continuing to offer face-to-face visits when they are needed.

You can still contact St Christopher’s for advice around the clock by calling 020 8768 4500. We particularly urge you to do this in the event of a crisis or if there is an unforeseen change in condition. We would also like to reassure everyone that we continue to receive referrals for our support as normal.

Changes to our care services

  • Prior to any consultation, we will contact patients by phone. Our team will ask questions about each individual’s general health and any new problems they may be experiencing. They will also ask whether they have any reason to think they may have been exposed to coronavirus. This will guide our decision about who is best placed to speak with each person and make a plan for their care
  • We will ask all patients if they have access to a smartphone, the internet and a computer to help us consider how we best support them
  • We will offer the majority of our care and support via phone or using virtual consultations. We will also continue to offer home visits when they are required and our team will be fully equipped with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to keep you safe
  • If someone is identified as requiring inpatient care this will be considered in the usual way, ensuring priority is given to those most in need
  • We are temporarily stopping all our group sessions and activities for inpatients, outpatients and visitors, this includes the Sunday Lunch. However, we will offer alternative support wherever we can.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Our top priority is keeping the people we support, their families and our staff safe. To do this we are following guidance from the UK Government and our staff have been equipped with PPE to wear when caring for patients We will be in touch before visiting you to assess whether you are experiencing symptoms of Covid-19. Please do let us know if you are, for the safety of our staff and others, as additional PPE will need to be worn. Thank you for your cooperation.

Information for healthcare professionals

If you need any advice or support during this time, please call us on 020 8768 4582.

Information for fundraisers and supporters

We have made the difficult decision to cancel the following fundraising events. The hospice relies on these events to fund our services each year so we are hoping to hold alternative fundraisers when it is safe to do so to help raise the money that we will lose from these cancellations:

  • Bluebell Walk – Sunday 3 May
  • Open Gardens Festival – May to Sep 2020
  • Green Street Green Festival (formerly Food Festival and Dog Show) – Saturday 6 June
  • Survive The Wild – Saturday 19 to Sunday 20 September 

Information for shop customers and supporters

The majority of St Christopher’s high street charity shops are now open.

Our priority is the safety of St Christopher’s staff, volunteers and customers, which is why we are introducing new ways of working in retail.

There are contactless donation areas in each shop where donors can drop donations safely.

We are so incredibly grateful to our supporters for their generous donations.


Information for course and conference attendees

We have taken the difficult decision to cancel the following:

  • All local, national and international group visits to the hospice for education purposes.

Please also check our Education calendar for changes to specific courses.

The hospice takes the education and training of healthcare professionals on end of life care best practices very seriously, so we will be holding alternative online courses and will resume face-to-face events when it is safe to do so. Please check our website regularly for the latest updates.

If you require a refund or would like to transfer your place to a future date, please contact our Education Team on

Information on Community Action

At the moment, we are working in a different way because of Covid-19 and the pressures it has created for people across our communities.

We are running a Community Aid initiative where we match members of the community in need of practical and social support during this time of physical distancing and shielding. We are also exploring new ways of working with our surrounding communities for better practice around death, dying and loss.

Find out more about Community Action

Source: Find out more about Recite Me Last updated: 28/10/2020 3:04:23