COVID-19 (Coronavirus): guidance on visiting the Hospice

Last updated: 24 December 2021

The symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) may be more severe in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term and life-limiting conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and chronic lung disease.  These people may become ill despite having been vaccinated.

As an organisation, we recognise the need for our services to respond quickly to support those who need our care and support during this difficult time. We will be taking the necessary steps to protect the people we care for both at home and in the Hospice, as well as those working and volunteering with us. We have carefully considered the risks to health and aim to minimise contagion by: reducing multiple social contacts through limiting footfall within the Hospice building, maintaining 2 metre social distance as far as this is reasonably possible and wearing PPE. Therefore, everyone you come into contact with, will also be wearing a surgical 11R mask and in some situations, goggles and visors may be worn too.  This way we protect you too.


Visiting patients at the Hospice

The health, safety and wellbeing of our patients, their families, our staff and volunteers remain our absolute priority and like all health organisations we have been impacted by COVID -19, affecting both patients and staff within Rowans Hospice.

We are enabling limited visiting to patients, recognising the importance of maintaining connections with close family and friends. We, like everyone else, need to abide by the law and therefore this Visiting Policy details current regulatory requirements to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus.

If you have been in close proximity or sharing a household with a COVID positive person, we will be following Government advice and advise for those who are fully vaccinated, that they arrange a PCR test prior to visiting and if negative, follow up with a daily lateral flow test prior to each visit, until the quarantine period (10 days after contact) has expired.  Should you experience symptoms during this time or test positive you will not be able to visit.

Staff and volunteers caring for patients will also be PCR tested every week and if they too come into close contact with someone who is COVID positive they will need to access a further PCR test and refrain from work until a negative result has been received.  On return, and for the duration of the isolation period, they too will take a daily lateral flow test.  Risk assessment will also be considered and for the most vulnerable patients, we will do all we can, not to expose them to anyone who may have been recently exposed to COVID-19.

Please read our FULL Visitor Policy, which contains important information about procedures to follow, so that you are fully informed before making a visit to the Hospice.

To protect everyone accessing the In-Patient Unit, including staff, volunteers, patients and visitors alike, routine testing is being undertaken.  For patients, a test will be undertaken on the day of admission and again on day 5 to support with their medical assessment and treatment plan.  For visitors, a lateral flow test will be available twice a week at the Living Well Centre; a separate building adjacent to Rowans Hospice, however it is recommended that visitors source their own supply of tests and especially should daily testing be indicated as the centre is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

All visitors will be required to sign in at the Rowans Hospice Reception, wash their hands, and put on the IIR surgical face mask. On entry to the In-Patient Unit, visitors will need to remove their outdoor coat and wash/sanitise their hands as well as don a plastic apron and gloves. Frequent hand washing is also encouraged during your visit and water-free sanitisers are available too.  We politely ask that all visitors adhere to this policy and follow our guidance.


Please ensure you read the FULL Visitors Policy here 

  • Each patient can have just two visitors at any one time and we request that these visits are pre-arranged and organised.
  • On days when you are not accessing a test, please arrive no more than five minutes before your visit.
  • Visitors will be asked to wear a surgical mask, which should be donned prior to entry into the In-Patient area. (If a medical condition exempts the visitor, if suitable, a Perspex visor will be provided).  A mask/visor must be worn for the entirety of your visit and should be replaced with a new one after eating. A mask/visor must be worn for the entirety of your visit, including overnight stays.
  • Visitors will be shown to the patient’s en-suite room unless directed by clinical staff to a waiting area whilst care and treatment is provided.
  • Additional PPE will be made available should this be required.
  • The Coffee Shop; you will be offered refreshments throughout your visit. Food and beverages are also available from the Coffee Shop and if closed, paid for via the honesty box.  All payments need to be via card or correct money placed into the honesty box as change cannot be provided.
  • Additional visitors will be considered as appropriate when the patient is very near the end of their life.
  • Overnight stays will be permitted when a patient is in the final stages of life.
  • ‘Virtual’ visiting will also be encouraged to reduce the volume of people in the building; electronic devices and support will be provided as needed.

Changes to Services

The current status of our services is as follows:

  • The In-Patient Unit remains open to offer care in dying and specialist symptom control, acute carer support, and specialist rehabilitation, regardless of COVID status, unless ventilation and acute hospital intervention is deemed appropriate.  Please note all transfers from hospital and the community will be nursed wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
  • Rowans Hospice at Home service continues to operate and will prioritise all those who are imminently dying over the 24-hour period, 7 days a week, regardless of COVID status, taking the necessary precautions to protect everyone.
  • The Living Well Centre (LWC) as a ‘drop-in’ facility is currently closed.  Out-patient appointments and clinics have been reintroduced to support patients, carers, and the bereaved.  Masks will need to be worn and Lateral Flow Testing encouraged and can be arranged on-site before a person accesses the building.  A suite of virtual therapy sessions and activities are also available. Direct Dial: 023 9224 8011 (open 10:00 – 16:00, Monday – Friday). Voicemail messages will be answered as soon as possible on the next working day.
  • ‘Life-Line’, a support and advice line to support patients, family members, friends, carers and the bereaved through Rowans Living Well Centre. Direct Dial: 023 9224 8011 (open 10:00 – 16:00, Monday – Friday).
  • Activity within our Education Department is now being provided in Virtual formats to upskill staff caring for people in other settings e.g. nursing and residential care settings. If you have a booking or are due to attend an event, conference or training, you will be contacted shortly. We understand that the ongoing disruption to our physical on-site training may cause significant upset and inconvenience. Please be assured we haven’t taken these decisions lightly and are prioritising the safety and well-being of everyone at this time.

For specific enquiries about a current patient, carer or family member, or if you have concerns about your own personal situation, please contact us on 023 9225 0001 and opt for the clinical enquiry option.

Thank you for your support and understanding during this challenging time.

Avoid catching or spreading germs – catch it, bin it, kill it

You can help to stop the spread of any germs by:

  • catching your cough or sneeze in a tissue – bin used tissues straight away
  • washing your hands often with soap and water, especially after coughing or sneezing (use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are unavailable)
  • avoiding close contact with people who are unwell
  • not touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • wearing a shielding mask or face covering if visiting Rowans Hospice sites

For the latest information and guidance on the coronavirus, please visit:

The website The NHS coronavirus website


We need your support

Rowans Hospice is a Charity providing free care and support to people in our community who have a life-limiting illness, and their families.

In order to ensure everyone’s safety during the COVID-19 outbreak, events like our flagship Moonlit Memories Walk, and the children’s Starlit Walk, were cancelled or postponed, and other fundraising events may still be affected in the coming months. This has a huge impact on our income.

We need your support now more than ever as we rely on our community to help us raise almost 90% of our funds. Every pound raised is important to help us to continue this outstanding care for patients and the people important to them, so that they can make the most of every moment together.

Please consider donating today.



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