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

Keeping you safe – information on COVID-19

(Updated 19/04/21)


In response to the spread of COVID-19 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

From 17 May, it is possible for up to six individuals or two households to meet indoors. As such, patients staying on our wards will no longer be asked to nominate only two visitors.

However, family members and friends must limit the numbers of visitors to two people, per patient, per day. This means a patient may have the benefit of more than two friends and family members in a week, but that on any day only two people will visit the hospice.

This way, social distancing can be maintained and we can keep everyone at the hospice safe. If there is a reason why more than two people should visit in a day, please speak to ward staff about this and we’ll do our best to help. Visitors are welcome between 8am and 8pm.

As restrictions continue to ease in the coming months, we aim to remove all limits to visitors to the hospice and extend the visiting hours beyond those above.

In line with government guidance, visitors to the hospice are strongly encouraged to take a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) test up to 24 hours before coming to the hospice. If the result is negative, please come for your visit. If the test is positive, make an appointment for a PCR test, or use a postal PCR test. You must self-isolate until you receive a negative PCR test result. If the PCR result is positive, continue to self-isolate as per government guidance.

Please use this link for information about LFD tests, to order free packs of tests and find information about booking PCR tests: Order coronavirus (COVID-19) rapid lateral flow tests – GOV.UK (

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 ensuring we are individualised in our approach to each person we care for, while putting in place measures to prevent any possible spread of COVID-19.

  • Please limit the numbers of visitors to two people, per patient, per day
  • 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 (or a surgical mask which is required whilst visiting our wards) 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 and leaving 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.

Garden Time

We’re so pleased to be able to offer you the opportunity to make the most of our gardens and meet with up to five visitors outside.

We’re able to offer this in line with the latest government guidance which allows groups of up to six to meet outside. To keep you safe and support social distancing we will offer this to three families a day between 2-4pm seven days a week. Please speak to a member of the team 24 hours in advance to request your booking.

We’ll also be providing gazebos to protect you and your visitors from the British weather(!) and you’ll be able to order food and drinks from our café, which will be brought to out to you. On arrival to the hospice your guests will be greeted by a volunteer and shown to your gazebo. Visitors will need to sign in, wear face coverings when inside the hospice and wash their hands on arrival.

Visiting the Pilgrim Room

The Pilgrim Room is available for visitors who wish to visit and write in the Memories Book, light a candle in remembrance or use the space to sit quietly and reflect. However, in line with current government guidance we would ask you to follow these steps prior to visiting:

  • To ensure social distancing is maintained, we can only welcome 3 people from the same family or household into the Pilgrim Room at any one time
  • Before visiting, please call Andrew Goodhead (020 8768 4604) or Mike Faun (020 8768 4605) to arrange the day and time of your visit. We are open between 8am and 8pm. Andrew or Mike will take your name and the number of visitors who will come with you and advise our reception team
  • When you arrive at the Sydenham site, please wash your hands at the sink outside the main entrance; all visitors will need to use our visitor login system. When prompted to complete who you are visiting, please type ‘Pilgrim Room’
  • When you leave the hospice building, please log out using the same visitor logging system.

Information for patients, families and carers

Understandably, many people have concerns about their health and care needs in light of COVID-19 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 COVID-19. 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.

Outpatient appointments

From Tuesday 16 March, we will begin a phased reopening of our outpatient clinics for nursing, rehab, medicine, social work and welfare teams. These clinics will be offered one day per week, on a Tuesday, to those patients who are well enough to travel to the hospice and who are most in need of a face-to-face appointment. This will continue to be reviewed on a regular basis in line with government guidance, cases of COVID-19 and patient need.

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

Our staff have now returned to working predominantly on site and will be available to speak with you over the phone or via email. We are busy preparing for our summer events and there are lots of ways that you can raise funds for St Christopher’s as we recover from the pandemic. Here are just a few ideas!

Information for shop customers and supporters

Our high street shops are now open.

There are contactless donation areas in our shops where donors can drop donations safely.

We will be following government guidance to keep staff and kind donators safe.

We are also now booking Covid-safe home collections, furniture and large donations.

You can also support the hospice by shopping online.

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: 28/09/2021 21:03:30