for families facing terminal illness
Coronavirus updates

Coronavirus updates

If you are planning on visiting our hospice or any of our patients within the community, please be aware of the latest government advice regarding the recent Coronavirus outbreak.

Please remember to wash your hands frequently as this can help to prevent and slow the spread of coronavirus. 

You should wash your hands for 20 seconds, using soap and water or hand sanitiser.


Last updated on 22nd May 2020

Patients and Families
We are continuing to provide vital support to patients and families in our community who are living with a terminal or life limiting condition. We will continue to update you regularly on the situation during these unprecedented times. 

We are following all current advice from Public Health England (PHE) to ensure we are doing all we can to keep our patients, their families, our staff and our volunteers safe whilst continuing to provide the care and support needed.

We are also reaching out to local hospitals and our Clinical Commissioning Groups for further guidance on how best to support you and your family and how we can all work together. 

Our Inpatient Ward
In line with current advice and to maximise safety for our patients’ staff and visitors we have taken the decision to limit access to our hospice to essential staff, volunteers and relatives / friends of inpatients only. We have also taken the very difficult decision to cancel for the foreseeable future our respite care.

We are, effective immediately, operating the following procedures to enter our hospice:

  • You must ring the buzzer to gain entry, please be patient as staff may be busy providing care.
  • If you are a relative or friend of an inpatient you can still visit our Inpatient Ward provided you do not have any of the symptoms below:

       A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)


       A new, continuous cough

If you are displaying either of these symptoms, please do not enter the hospice.


For most people, Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection, however if you have the above symptoms to slow the spread of infection to those more vulnerable please only visit if symptom free or following advice via 111.

We are restricting visitors to our Inpatient Ward in order to keep everybody safe. Only staff will be allowed to access the ward unless discussed and agreed in advance with the Ward Manager. We recognise the importance of seeing your loved one at end of life. Whilst we are encouraging the use of technology such as Skype/Facetime, we will also discuss with each patient/family access to visit and how this can be facilitated following admission.

Visiting of patients is still permitted on the ward but only by prior arrangement with the Inpatient Ward. To arrange a visit, please ring 01474 320007 before coming to the hospice.

We thank you for your understanding, in helping us to  keep patients yourselves and ourselves safe.


Living Well and Wellbeing Services

Until further notice, all our drop-in groups and classes (including counselling and complementary therapies) have been postponed at the hospice and other sites. Your care will continue perhaps in other ways including the use of telephones, Skype and video links and we are working hard to look at ways to do. Please bear with us, it may take a bit longer to contact you, but we haven’t forgotten you. Please in the meantime do contact us if you need to speak to us.

  • Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy 

The Physiotherapy & Occupational Therapy team will continue to provide support to the patients on our Inpatient Ward. We have decided to cancel our Seated Exercise Group, Breathlessness Management Group and Fatigue Management Group based at the hospice. Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy visits to patients in their own homes will not currently be taking place.

If you should require advise on breathlessness, fatigue, mobility or exercises during this time please contact us on 01474 320007 and ask to speak to either Andy, Physiotherapist or Clare, Occupational Therapist, who will call you back to help you in whatever way we can.

  • Bereavement Cuppas, Carers Cuppas and Walk and Talk Group

Until further notice, all our drop-in groups and classes (including counselling and complementary therapies) have been postponed at the hospice and other sites. Your care will continue perhaps in other ways including the use of telephones, Skype and video links and we are working hard to look at  ways to do. Please bear with us, it may take a bit longer to contact you, but we haven’t forgotten you. Please in the meantime do contact us if you need to speak to us.


Care Home Support Team 
Most care homes have closed their doors to visitors. We are still advising on palliative care by phone and contacting the care homes as usual. We will only be making essential visits in order to protect the elderly and vulnerable. 

Our Hospice at Home Community Team
In order to keep patients and their families safe, our Hospice at Home Community Team will now offer support primarily via phone - although home visits may still be available following telephone assessment, with additional procedures in place to limit the risk of infection for themselves and for their patients.

We are increasing our phone contact to patients and families we currently support and staying in close contact with other professionals to ensure best supportive care.

Our Cafe and Public seating area

We have made the decision to close our cafe to the public but we will continue to provide hot meals for our patients on the ward, visiting relatives and friends of patient’s staff and volunteers working at the hospice. We will be operating a reduced hot menu option but will have sandwiches and cold items available. We thank you for your understanding. We will keep you informed of the situation.

Children’s Service

We are working closely with Public Health England/NHS England guidelines to maintain our services for those children and young people who are most vulnerable or at risk. 

As you are aware, the guidelines from the Government and Public Health England are changing rapidly so I will be keeping you informed of our services throughout this time by posting information on our website. This will be updated weekly, or sooner if required. 

We want to keep in touch with you and will continue to offer our support you all during this time. We are maintaining business as usual as far as we can but, as you will understand, we have had to make some changes to how we deliver our care. This is to protect your family as well our staff and the wider community.

We are exploring ways to resume some aspects of our service that were suspended but will be doing this carefully and safely, in line with guidance from our local CCG’s.

Our working hours are currently 9-5pm Monday- Friday and 9am-1pm Saturday and Sunday. 

Face to face visits will be undertaken only for essential or urgent needs. Our priorities are to provide acute oncology treatment, urgent assessments and end of life care for children. This is in accordance with the current national directives for Community paediatric services.

Video calls are available and we are using Zoom to provide virtual visits. This is a free app which can be used on any device and this will allow you to communicate more directly with a member of our team. 

We are working very closely with other Children’s community teams, Children’s Hospices, local hospitals and Tertiary centres across our whole area to continue to provide care.

In order to protect you and your families we have cancelled all group activities at the Hospice with immediate effect. This includes our Friday Fun Club, our Easter Party and Mother’s Day pampering event. Our face to face Music and play therapy sessions held at the hospice are also postponed until further notice. However, our therapist is available to provide therapeutic support for families via telephone or video call.


Your support is vital in helping us provide care and support to patients and their families and during this unprecedented time, your support is even more important.

We have had to postpone some of our fundraising events which raise funds to allow us to continue supporting our community. However, we are looking at ideas for virtual events so that we can still raise the funds we need. If you have any suggestions, please do get in touch with our Fundraising Team.

The following ellenor run events have been postponed:

  • Ellie’s Mini Marathon – New date: 11/10/2020
  • Sponsored Walkathon – New date: 21/03/2021
  • Quiz Nights – until further notice (keep an eye out for our virtual quiz nights)

Some third-party events have also affected, including the Virgin Money London Marathon and Brighton Marathon. Please visit our Events page for information on each of our events.

If you require any advice about your own fundraising activity, or events you are participating in, please contact our Fundraising Team via email or call 01322 626509 for further information and we will be pleased to offer support as best we can. 

Over the coming days and weeks, our fundraising teams will be reaching out to let you know what we are doing and the changes we are making to our fundraising plans for the coming year.

Thank you for your continued and much valued support, you can continue supporting us by making a donation. We still need your valued support.

We are incredibly grateful to all our volunteers whose help and support ellenor is invaluable. In line with staff notifications we are signposting our volunteers to government advice and our Human Resources department. Our volunteers are critical in order to help keep our retail shops open, services running and keep providing beverages and meals for our patients and their families.

We want to thank all our volunteers for their commitment and continued support during these very difficult times. They really are extraordinary. 


For the latest information about our shops, please click here.


Recruitment and Training and Education

Any recruitment we are holding at the moment will be changed from Face to Face to Telephone Interviews. Our current training learning and education programmes have been postponed until further notice. 

Our valued staff are absolutely critical to the operation of our services and we are taking all the necessary measures to ensure that we are able to deliver this safely and with minimal disruption throughout this difficult period. We would like to thank our staff for their tireless commitment to ellenor and for doing all they can to minimise infection and keep our services going.