Staff at Ashgate Hospicecare to continue to wear masks as charity keeps visitor restrictions and Covid-19 measures in place
Ashgate Hospicecare in Chesterfield have confirmed they will keep virus control measures and visitor restrictions in place next week, despite the Government lifting almost all mandatory Covid-19 regulations.
The charity has asked the community for their ‘understanding’ as visitor restrictions at Ashgate, along with infection control measures – such as wearing masks and taking staff and visitor’s temperatures – will remain in place next week.
Earlier this week, Boris Johnson clarified his plans to move ahead with the final stage of easing coronavirus rules in England on Monday, July 19 which means almost all legal restrictions on social contact will be removed.
Instead the nation is being encouraged to exercise personal judgement as to when to wear masks and social distance in public spaces.
Ashgate Hospicecare, which specialises in providing end of life care to patients with complex palliative needs across North Derbyshire, will continue allowing only two named visitors per patient along with mandatory temperature checks on arrival to their Inpatient Unit.
Staff and volunteers at the charity will also continue to wear face masks in all their hospice settings, including in their 14 shops and three coffee shops.
Shoppers will be encouraged to wear a mask as well at Ashgate’s charity shops.
Front-line workers and volunteers at the hospice will still undergo regular Covid testing and those who can work remotely will continue to do so.
Ashgate were recognised for their effective control measures, as they were named as finalists in the RCN Nursing Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Infection Prevention and Control.
Chief executive Barbara-Anne Walker said: “Covid is far from over and that is why we will continue to operate with strict Covid measures in place to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.
“Our patients are particularly vulnerable to Covid and other infections and we must do everything we can to keep them safe and reduce the risk of a chain of transmission that could lead to them catching the virus.
“The data is showing us that the Delta variant made up over 98% of recent Covid cases and we know that the numbers of people infected are increasing every day.
"We also know that Delta is more infectious than previous Covid variants that have dominated the numbers in the UK.
“This is why we must do everything possible to help stop the spread of Covid-19 both in the hospice and in the community we serve.
“We are already seeing the wider health and care system impacted by the rising Covid numbers.
"Just as we did earlier in the pandemic, we will be here to support our healthcare colleagues in any way we can.”
The charity praised employees and volunteers for their ‘overwhelmingly positive’ vaccine uptake with over 84% of paid staff and 50% of volunteers having received their first dose.
Ashgate also said their ‘scrupulous approach to infection prevention and control’ has been the key to avoiding any outbreaks of the virus or cross infection – despite caring for patients with Covid-19 on their Inpatient Unit.
Barbara-Anne continued: “It would be irresponsible for a hospice like Ashgate to start easing off on the vigilance which has protected us so well until now, especially as Covid numbers are once more, on the increase.”
Find out about the latest visitor guidance here: www.ashgatehospicecare.org.uk.