Covid-19 response from our CEO
At North London Hospice we have been doing everything we can in these unprecedented times to maintain our key services, which are, right now, supporting over 800 people with terminal or life-limiting illness in our community, and their families.
We want you to rest assured that the health, wellbeing and safety of our patients, staff, volunteers and visitors is our priority in this rapidly changing situation we all find ourselves in.
I won’t deny that it’s a challenge, but the commitment of our nurses, doctors, support staff and volunteers is enabling the hospice to continue to operate, but with some temporary changes.
Our Finchley ward is still operating, but in light of the latest Government advice we have taken the difficult decision to suspend visitors to the inpatient unit in order to provide the greatest protection to patients and our frontline staff during the pandemic. The only exception is one visitor – an immediate family member or carer – who will be able to visit when the patient is in the last few days of life. We continue to provide support and advice to community and Health and Wellbeing patients at home. Our community nursing specialists are still making some emergency home visits but are also using video and telephone calls to support patients at home.
Our First Contact Centre is still operating and triaging new patients into our system to enable them to receive our support.
Our bereavement team is also still supporting families with both phone calls and meetings.
For now, our group activity is suspended. That includes our Come & Connect and Walk & Talk groups, and wellbeing group sessions at the Health & Wellbeing Centre.
In line with government advice, our 17 shops, which provide vital income for our services, have been temporarily closed. If you are planning a clear out during your time at home, please save any donations if you have space, we would welcome them when our shops reopen. Our home collection service is also suspended for the time being.
Volunteers are still helping our Bereavement, Compassionate Neighbours & Respite teams, offering support by phone or video call.
As advised by the government, we are enabling many of our support staff to work from home, to minimise risk to both themselves and our front-line staff and patients.
You will see notices up outside our buildings asking you not to enter, and we ask that you wait at the door for a member of our team to come out and assist you. However, if you or anyone in your household has a new continuous cough or fever and we kindly ask that you do not visit. Please contact the Hospice by phone if you require an update on a patient.
As you know North London Hospice is a charity and has to raise 60% of funds to run our services each year – that’s £9 million. The postponement of our spring events calendar, which includes Big Fun Walk, our biggest fundraiser of the year, means, now more than ever, we need the financial help of the community we serve. If you are able to make a donation, however small, we would be extremely grateful. You can donate on line at www.northlondonhospice.org/donate or visit our ‘support us’ page to discover other ways you can help.
Finally, I would like to thank you for your continued support and understanding, and hope you, your family and friends stay fit and well in the coming weeks.
Updated 26 March 2020