Providing safe and effective care of vulnerable patients and keeping our staff well are our main concerns. We’re following official guidance and taking precautionary steps to minimise the risk of COVID-19 across our sites.

Please read this page for information on our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Visiting our specialist ward at Searle House, Exeter

To reduce footfall and manage social distancing in line with government guidelines, our specialist ward at Searle House is now closed to most visitors. Close family and friends of patients on the ward will be able to visit by calling the ward team on 01392 688000 to arrange visits in advance. We do not take this difficult decision lightly, but we need to prioritise the health of our patients and our staff.

Each inpatient can have up to three named visitors.  These three visitors must remain the same for the duration of the patient’s stay and their names should be given to staff at the beginning of the admission.

Each patient can have up to a two-hour visit every day and this can be a two-hour slot or be divided into two individual hour-long slots. This is to allow all of our 12 patients to see those close to them every day but in a safe and organised manner. Staff will guide you with appointments.

We will ask all visitors to complete a Track and Trace form providing us with all of your details in case we need to contact you at a later date with any COVID-19 concerns.

  • We ask that a nominated person ring each morning to speak to the Nurse in Charge to make an appointment
  • On arrival you must sanitise your hands, wear a face covering, gloves and apron.
  • We will provide one washable face covering per visitor (or you can use your own) and we ask that you bring this with you each time you visit
  • Please remain by the bedside and not wander around the ward. If you require the toilet we can assist you to the right room to use
  • Please fill out a Track & Trace form with the necessary details
  • We may check your temperature on arrival to visit
  • Please discuss with the Nurse in Charge regarding children under 16 visiting

Extended visiting

If a patient is in the last few days of life, nursing staff will guide you about extended visiting times.

If you are visiting patients or one of our sites, you can protect yourself and patients by:

  • Catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue
  • Binning used tissues straightaway
  • Washing hands thoroughly with soap and water or hand sanitiser on entry and exit and before and after contact with patients.

If you are displaying any of the below symptoms – or if you have been in contact with anyone with symptoms – please do not visit to Searle House:

  • A new and continuous cough
  • A high temperature over 37.8oC

Please self-isolate if you have the above symptoms. If you have recently been abroad we ask that you please check the government website for guidance before visiting. 

Virtual visiting

We can support all our patients with virtual visiting via WhatsApp, Facetime or Zoom.  The ward has access to an iPad. Patients are also welcome to use personal mobile phones or tablets. We have Wi-Fi available. Please ask staff for details.

Our response also includes:

  • Temporarily suspending Day Hospice and support and social groups that meet face-to-face (telephone support and at home support continues to be available)
  • Regular briefings to staff
  • Increasing infection control notices and social distancing notices at all our buildings
  • Making hand sanitiser available at our clinical sites
  • Enabling non-clinical staff to work remotely where appropriate and possible to reduce footfall to our specialist ward
  • Regular updates to this page.

For more information please read our FAQs about Hospiscare’s approach to COVID-19.

Your Data and COVID-19

Your personal information may not be your first thought when it comes to coronavirus, but if you’re worried, here is some information to help. This information is applicable to Hospiscare, but also to your employer and other organisations you come into contact with.

  • Government, the NHS and other organisations will make sure you get vital public health messages via phone, email or text. You don’t need to give them your consent.
  • You might be asked to give details about sensitive health conditions and recent travel that you think are excessive. Employers and organisations do have an obligation to protect their staff, so in some cases it can be reasonable for them to ask you if you’ve visited a particular country or if you have experienced coronavirus symptoms. But they shouldn’t be asking for more information than is necessary, and if you are concerned speak to the organisation involved. Hospiscare will only ask for information that is necessary to protect our patients and staff members.
  • If you’ve made a Freedom of Information request or a subject access request from Hospiscare, you should expect delays in response as we may be diverting our resources to help with other challenges.

For more information about how Hospiscare may use your personal data, see our privacy policy.

Additional resources relating to COVID-19

For further information on the coronavirus pandemic, please see our specialist resources for healthcare professionals, view our free support services for care home professionals, visit these external websites or browse our related resources list below…

Practical support and admin in your local area

We have compiled a list of support and advice services for patients, families and vulnerable groups across Exeter, mid and east Devon.