Public statement March 2020

The past few weeks have been challenging, communities are struggling and people are uncertain about what the future will bring. I'd like to start by sending my best wishes to you and your family. As a valued supporter and friend of St Michael’s Hospice, or someone who is accessing our services, I want to give you an update on our response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) in line with Government and Public Health England advice.

Our main priority will always be supporting and caring for patients and their relatives and friends, and I want to reassure you that we will continue to do this with the dedication and passion that we always have. However, we must also keep the individuals we support, our employees, volunteers and the wider community safe and to achieve that we have had to make some tough decisions.

  • We continue to run our In-Patient Unit at the Hospice, but with visitor restrictions in place. Please be assured we will do everything we can to enable you to be in contact with your loved one
  • We are keeping in regular contact with everyone who uses our services and we continue to take referrals for bereavement support, but we have suspended our face-to-face Wellbeing, outpatient and Bereavement Services and replaced them with telephone support
  • Our community team is working closely with our NHS partners and continue to assess each individual’s needs. Telephone support rather than visits will take place wherever possible
  • Our Hospice shops and the Donation Centre are now closed and we have had to postpone or cancel our fundraising events for the next three months.

These are unprecedented times that have demanded extreme measures and I am so proud of the St Michael’s Hospice team who continue to go above and beyond to keep supporting patients and families. Some are learning new skills and stepping out of their comfort zone to support their colleagues and all are embracing new ways of working. We miss our team of loyal volunteers, many of whom are unable to be physically present but we know they will always be there to support us and we look forward to welcoming them back when we can.

We need our community to be here for us now more than ever and would like to thank you in advance for your continued kindness and generosity. Whilst our services are restricted, our hearts and minds are very much open and we are thinking of creative ways of supporting patients and families, and to stay connected with you. Like you, we are unsure of what lies ahead, but be reassured that we will do everything we can to support you.

Take care of yourself and your loved ones.

Dr Karen Clarke,
Chief Executive