South Bucks Hospice temporarily closes in wake of pandemic – but vows to continuing backing patients and NHS
A charity offering care and support to people with life-threatening conditions temporarily closed its traditional patient services last week in the wake of the Coronavirus crisis.
South Bucks Hospice says the decision was taken to protect its vulnerable patients.
However, the hospice will instead continue to help patients and their carers by offering an expert telephone support service run by nurses and specialists. Its popular South Bucks Hospice shops also closed this week with immediate effect until the crisis is over.
Meanwhile, the hospice – based at Butterfly House in High Wycombe – is offering to lend the services of its nurses to assist the NHS and is also willing to give space in its state-of-the-art building to help fight the virus. Trustees will be writing to NHS officials to ask how the hospice can lend a hand.
Hospice bosses said the decision to suspend services at Butterfly House on Tuesday (March 17) was taken reluctantly, but they were left with no choice due to the fact that their patients are among the most vulnerable to Coronavirus. The shop closure followed this week as the worldwide crisis escalated.
“Our hospice cares for people with life-limiting, progressive and terminal illnesses and the symptoms of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) may be more severe if our patients contract this virus,” said David Ellis OBE, Chairman of Trustees.
“It is important therefore that we take all reasonable steps to protect the wellbeing of our patients, as well as those visiting, working and volunteering at the hospice.”
Trustees clarified there have been no known cases to date of Coronavirus connected to the hospice, but the measure was taken in line with the national policy of social isolation.
South Bucks Hospice is a day hospice which offers a wide range of services to patients, families and carers.
Mr Ellis added: “All volunteers who currently support the hospice are asked to pause their volunteering duties for the time being and we would like to thank them for their understanding and support.
“The situation of Coronavirus is constantly changing and we are each responsible for protecting ourselves, as well as reducing the risk of spreading this virus to others.”
The hospice has also been hit by the fact that a number of its fundraising events have had to be cancelled.
Jackie Ward, Director of Finance and Operations, said: “We need a significant amount of money to maintain our very highly-regarded services, so these cancellations will have a serious impact on our revenue. We would be grateful if external fundraising could continue so we are in good shape for when things return to normal in the future and when we open our doors again for patients.”
To find out how to help the hospice, go to www.sbh.org.uk