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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.


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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

Chestnut Tree House remains closed to routine visitors.

Care services

When the pandemic was declared, routine respite breaks and day care services were immediately cancelled in accordance with government guidelines.

Some of the care team were redeployed to our sister hospice, St Barnabas House, while others went to support local hospitals. The remaining team continued providing respite care for exceptional circumstances, end of life care and bereavement support throughout the initial phase.

We have remained in contact with the children and families we care for and offered regular telephone support and community visits (in full PPE and fully risk-assessed) to those who were still happy to receive them.

Keeping youngsters happily occupied can be challenging at any time, and even more so during lockdown so our Activity Team have been creating lots of fun by delivering tailored activity packs to families at home and hosting singing and storytelling sessions via video.

As constraints have started to ease, the deployed staff have all now returned and we have been able to welcome families back to the House for day care sessions and have started to book routine respite stays for families who need them. We have continued to provide telephone support and are increasing the number of home visits and counselling sessions.

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

Charity shops

All 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. Space is restricted therefore 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 furniture collections, and how to donate, please read our latest retail update.

Donations

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.

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. You can find all the latest details of changes to specific fundraising events, including the Brighton and London Marathon, by visiting our challenge events page.

If you are 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.

On Wednesday 18 March we temporarily stopped all door-to-door canvassing with immediate effect. As the constraints are easing, we have reintroduced face-to-face fundraising for a trial period starting from 25 August with small teams of canvassers that will be fundraising door-to-door and in supermarkets in the local community. We will closely monitor and regulate the work of our canvassers. The Chestnut Tree House Lottery provides a significant, regular income to support the children and families that need vital hospice care.

Volunteering

The majority of Chestnut Tree House volunteers who come onsite have their volunteering on pause at the moment.

However, all of our shops are now open so we are inviting our retail volunteers back to their roles if they feel comfortable to do so, and welcoming applications for new retail volunteers.

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