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Information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Chestnut Tree House is very closely monitoring the situation concerning the Covid-19 virus and we are in close contact with Public Health England and the NHS. We will continue to monitor the situation daily and provide updates as and when we are able to.


The information on this page includes health advice, the latest guidance on visiting the hospice, updates to care services, charity shops, donations, fundraising events and volunteering.

Health advice

In these concerning times, rumours and misinformation are rife. Please use trusted resources for updates on COVID-19, such as the NHS and Public Health England.

We will of course keep you updated if we hear further news but it is important you check the government website every day after 2pm for the most up to date information and further links to NHS guidance.

The advice for anyone in any setting is to follow these main guidelines.

  1. The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or high temperature. If you have these symptoms, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started. You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
  2. Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.
  3. To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.
  4. Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

Help Healthwatch to help us

Be their eyes and ears to support the NHS and each other at this difficult time

These past few weeks, whilst challenging for many, have proven that we are great at working collaboratively and supporting each other. Across the organisation, many of us have been working #TogetherApart to ensure that our patients and their families still receive the support that they need. Now, we need to extend our amazing teamwork culture into the wider community.

The Helpdesk Hub team at Healthwatch, West Sussex need us and those we care for to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of our communities; to help identify what is working well and where there are gaps within the provision and delivery of health and social care services in West Sussex at this critical time. With our help, Healthwatch will be able to use statutory powers to influence change and support services to make a positive difference for the patients and families who need us.

You can share your thoughts and experiences via phone (0300 012 0122), email or online. Examples of the experiences you might like to comment on include:

  • Information that is confusing or contradictory in relation to COVID-19 or any other health and social care services
  • Services or initiatives that are working well, having adapted to the pandemic
  • Any gaps or barriers to accessing support

Healthwatch will feedback any changes that occur or useful information obtained from their data, but to ensure the highest accuracy and maximum benefit to all, our insight is essential for them to deliver this.

To find out more about Healthwatch, visit their website, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages.

Bereavement Support

Sussex Health and Care Partnership have launched a bereavement guide supporting those who have lost a loved one during the Covid-19 pandemic, which includes practical information, signposting to further support and information on the new Sussex Bereavement Helpline

Visiting the hospice

It is with sadness that with effect from Monday 23 March, we had to close Chestnut Tree House for routine short break admissions for the foreseeable future, in line with Government guidelines for social distancing of vulnerable groups.

Chestnut Tree House remains closed to visitors.

Thank you for working with us through these challenging times to ensure the continued wellbeing of everyone at the hospice.

Care services

It is with sadness that with effect from Monday 23 March, we had to close Chestnut Tree House for routine short break admissions for the foreseeable future, in line with Government guidelines for social distancing of vulnerable groups.

We remain in contact with our children and families and are offering community visits if they would still like them to go ahead. The House itself remains closed for respite breaks and day visits, but we are still able to provide care for exceptional circumstances, for end-of-life and bereavement support.

We will continue to update any further changes to our service at Chestnut Tree House.

We are very aware of the pressure that the NHS is under at the moment and the importance of all working together. Some of our nurses will be going to work in the NHS to support the increased demand for care during the coronavirus outbreak.

We have introduced a new service called ‘Helping Hands’ for both Chestnut Tree House and St Barnabas House – providing shopping services, prescription collection and pharmacy delivery.

For further information, guidance and advice please visit the Hospice UK website.

Charity shops

Most of our Chestnut Tree House shops have now reopened and are welcoming back their customers. Please see individual shop pages for opening days and times.

Some shops are only able to accept limited donations, because of the need to quarantine and store items. Donations cannot be accepted once a safe capacity has been reached. Please contact your local shop for more details and before making a journey.

We can also accept donations in our warehouse. We are limited as to the types of donation we can take at the moment.

For full information on our shops, deliveries and collections, and how to donate, please read our latest retail update.


Thank you for your continued support. We have been extremely moved by your kind messages and offers of support during this difficult time. This is a difficult time for everyone, but if you are able to consider supporting us with a donation at this time, it would be greatly appreciated.

Your support enables us to continue providing the care that is so vitally important to the families we work with – now and in the future. Hospice care remains our priority during the coronavirus outbreak.

Our aim is to keep any disruption to an absolute minimum and where possible, maintain our services to ensure that we can support the people who need us, whilst also continuing to raise the funds we need to sustain these services.

On Wednesday 18 March we stopped all door-to-door canvassing with immediate effect.

Unfortunately, we are currently unable to send physical thank you letters. However, we would like to say an enormous thank you to every single one of you for donating and supporting your local community who rely on hospice care. Thank you.

Fundraising events

Fundraising remains vitally important to being able to provide care services for local families, but unfortunately, we had to the take the decision on Friday 20 March to postpone all our upcoming events between now and June. For details about changes to specific events please visit our challenge events page.

We are in the process of contacting participants and will be announcing updates as soon as we have them. We will review the situation again in early June.

The decision has been taken by event organisers of the London Marathon and the Brighton Marathon Weekend to postpone until autumn 2020.

If you were planning to organise your own fundraising event, please follow the most up to date NHS and government advice. If you would like to talk to us, please call 01903 871820 or email fundraising@chestnut-tree-house.org.uk.


All volunteers who come into Chestnut Tree House have stopped their volunteering for the time being. Some retail volunteers are now being invited back to their roles if they feel comfortable.

For more information please see our latest COVID-19 update for volunteers.