From late March, The Ayrshire Hospice team have worked tirelessly to ensure our workplace is as safe an environment as it can be during a global pandemic. It is outstanding that we have not had an outbreak of COVID19 on site until now. Everyone has gone above and beyond the call of duty, under extremely challenging circumstances, to maintain an inpatient unit and community services that allows us to continue to deliver the person-centred care that the Hospice prides itself in.

Access to appropriate PPE, sourced from our local NHS supplier, which meets national guidelines, and a strong focus on following “Hands, Face and Space” advice have been paramount in keeping both staff and patients safe, even when staff have tested positive outside of work.  Patients were tested prior to admission, again on day one and day five. We introduced managed visiting for all families with only two identified visitors per patient. All patients have had access to their own tablet, specifically to allow video calling, so they can communicate with families, where they were not able to visit. As our focus is always on compassionate care of the individual, where the patient was in the final days of life, family members have been able to move in to be with their loved one until death.

Ayrshire Hospice Chief Executive, Carla MacEwan

The Hospice Leadership Team are committed to the welfare of patients and staff and it has been deeply upsetting for us to learn that a number of staff had tested COVID positive in mid-November.  Since then, we have, in line with national guidelines, increased our regular deep cleaning across the site, maintained daily contact with Health Protection Scotland for advice, placed more hand gel pumps at strategic locations within the building and reiterated guidance on Hands Face Space to all staff throughout the Hospice.  We have expanded female staff changing rooms to offer greater space and additional lockers are on order. All patients and their families have been kept fully informed of the situation and the Leadership team has kept staff advised of relevant information daily.  Regular testing of staff is ongoing.

Health Protection Scotland visited the Ayrshire Hospice on Thursday 3rd December to review the management protocols in place and were satisfied with all actions taken. We will continue to put our patients and their care at the forefront and will continue to ensure we provide a COVID compliant workplace for all staff in 2021.

To respect and maintain confidentiality we will not discuss any further information on either our patients or our staff.