I just wanted to let you know that in these strange and difficult times, we are still here. Amidst this crisis, our specialist palliative care staff will continue to deliver the best possible expert care for our patients both in the community and in the ward at Searle House.
We are a limited resource, but we will aim to keep going in the weeks and months ahead to look after you, your families and also our staff. Our teams are working to help and support our NHS colleagues; our consultant doctors are giving advice by telephone, both to hospital colleagues and those working with patients at home. Our ward is still open and our community nurses are still visiting those who are very poorly in their homes.
Every day we are prioritising care and working hard to make sure we are visiting those who are most in need of our care. We have converted the day hospice at Searle House into a specialised Clinical Co-ordination Centre so that we can make sure that everyone is getting advice, support and home visits when they need it.
We have increased our bereavement support team, so that apart from helping the families and loved ones of our patients, we can also support our colleagues in the community and beyond by providing help to relatives whose lives may be torn apart if their loved one has to be isolated from them at a critical time, and who may not get a chance to say a final goodbye.
We are facing a financial struggle just to keep our services going at a time when we cannot maintain our fundraising. We are grateful that the Government has offered support to hospices, but we still face a £1m shortfall every three months. We are also facing increasing costs as our nurses out in the community may have to self-isolate at times, meaning that we will need to hire additional nursing support.
In line with changing regulations about protective equipment, we will also need to make sure our clinical staff are wearing masks at all times – that’s around 75 masks each each and every day and we also need to keep staff supplied with fresh aprons and gloves as well.
So, in these uncertain times when we feel so powerless and so distanced from one another, remember to look after yourself, look after the people you care about and most of all, please be kind. Thank you.