At St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth, we care for people with advanced life-limiting illnesses so it is important that we take all reasonable steps to protect the wellbeing of those using our services, as well as those working and volunteering at the hospice during the coronavirus outbreak. We know that people accessing St Luke’s will wish to take reasonable precautions to protect themselves and those using our services, in addition to staff and volunteers.

We request that all patients, service users, staff, volunteers, contractors, relatives and friends consider whether they could be a potential carrier of the coronavirus and therefore pose a risk to others using and working across the hospice before taking any actions within our service.

The symptoms of coronavirus may be more severe in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term conditions such as diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

Visiting Turnchapel

Due to the current COVID-19 situation, we have to had review visiting arrangements for patients at our specialist unit to ensure we continue to look after them in the safest possible way and protect our staff.

We recognise that these adjustments are difficult news for friends and family at what is already an exceptionally challenging time, but our priority must remain protecting our vulnerable patients and our staff who are vital to ensuring our service continues throughout the pandemic.

Visiting is between 2.30 and 5.30pm daily and each patient can receive 2 visitors bedside per day, who is welcome to stay for the duration of visiting hours. If you plan to visit, please make other relatives and friends aware to avoid anyone being turned away.

All visitors must test negative for COVID-19 before visiting their loved one on the ward. We would encourage that visitor testing takes place at home prior to their visit. Please ask if you require additional free test kits. For those that are unable to test at home, we are carrying out rapid testing on site between 2 and 3pm daily. Please note it will take 30 minutes for you to receive your test result, and you will be asked wait outside the building/in your car. After receiving your result, you will be shown onto the unit if it is negative.

While in the building, please adhere to all the safety guidelines in place.

  • Maintaining a 2-metre distance from others where possible
  • Wearing a surgical mask (provided by St Luke’s)
  • In some instances, you may be asked to wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE)

Additional visiting will be considered when a patient is in the final hours of his or her life (our nurses/doctors will suggest this when the time is right).

Thank you for adhering to this guidance to protect our patients and the vital service we provide for them.

St Luke's Hospice Plymouth

Our Driftwood Café is closed for visitors. Visitors are more than welcome to use the visitors kitchen located along the wards where complimentary refreshments will be available.

Funeral Directors MUST contact reception and a member of the specialist unit team will meet them at the lift doors where they also will be asked to remove their gloves, sanitise their hands and put on a clean pair of gloves provided and then be escorted onto the unit.

Ambulance staff MUST wait in reception, remove their gloves and place them in the clinical waste bin, then wash their hands, and put on a fresh pair of gloves provided at the hand washing area.  A member of St Luke’s MUST escort you onto the unit.

Care at Home

If you are currently receiving care from our St Luke’s at Home, End of Life (EoL) Urgent Care Service or our Social Care services, here is some important information about precautions we must take to protect our patients and staff during the rapidly changing situation relating to coronavirus.

Your understanding and patience are appreciated, particularly as we recognise that in what is already an anxious time for many, the coronavirus may be adding to your concerns. Please be assured that we are monitoring the situation closely and will continue to follow all official advice.

If at any point you do not require a visit from St Luke’s – or if there are people living with you who could help instead of us – please advise the team on 01752 964200 so that they can prioritise patients for whom their help is critical.

In accordance with advice from Public Health England and the NHS, we are making the following changes with immediate effect in relation for your care at home.

  1. We will be working collaboratively with other community services such as GP and district nursing teams to ensure effective care from all professionals while also minimising exposure to those receiving care at home.
  2. Our primary point of contact if you are at home will be via telephone and/or Skype for those with access to this technology.  A full assessment, including medication history can be taken via this medium without the need to visit in person.
  3. We will triage and assess your care and support requirements on a regular basis and if our team need to visit you, the following will apply.
  • We will contact you before the visit by telephone to check whether or not anyone in your household is showing symptoms of coronavirus, ie high temperature and/or a new and persistent cough.
  • If no-one living with you is displaying symptoms, our visit will go ahead as normal.
  • However, if symptoms are present, and it is essential that we visit you, our staff will be wearing protective masks in addition to the gloves and masks usually worn. If staff do not have the correct personal protective equipment available, we will not be able to visit but will work alongside our other community service providers who will have access to this protection.

In accordance with advice from Public Health England and the NHS, we are making the following changes with immediate effect.

  • We will contact you each day by telephone to check whether or not anyone in your household is showing symptoms of coronavirus, ie high temperature and/or a new and persistent cough.
  • If no-one with you is displaying symptoms, our visit will go ahead as normal. However, if they are, and it is essential that we visit you, our staff will be wearing protective masks in addition to the gloves and masks usually worn. They will also visit you ‘last’ on their round to help ensure the safety of our patients and staff.
  • To limit unnecessary exposure, other healthcare professionals (eg district nurse) may visit on our behalf and feedback to St Luke’s with an update on your condition.

St Luke’s at Derriford

Our specialist nurses are continuing to work alongside NHS doctors and nurses for patients with end of life and palliative care needs. Our staff based within the hospital will operate under the public guidance displayed here. If you are visiting an end of life or palliative care patient, please speak to the ward manager as visiting times and restrictions may not apply.

Social Care Services

We understand that being isolation can make those at end of life, supporting family at end of life or those bereaved feel more alone. We are doing every thing we can to be there for our patients and their family whether that’s by phone or video call.

In accordance with advice from Public Health England and the NHS, we are making the following changes with immediate effect.

  • If you need urgent medical advice, please contact 01752 964200 or email us.
  • The St Luke’s social care team will contact you by telephone to discuss your social care arrangements.
  • The St Luke’s social care team is continuing support over the telephone.

We appreciate that telephone contact is not at all the same as face to face – contact. In these unprecedented times we will do all we can to support you appropriately and we will aim to continue to discuss support options for you.

We encourage you to continue to contact the St Luke’s social care team by phone on 01752 964200. Due to high numbers of calls, it is likely you may have to leave a message and we will respond to this as soon as we are able.