Coronavirus information for parents and carers

Here at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, we understand that the Covid-19 pandemic has been a particularly difficult time for families caring for children and young people with life-limiting conditions. We therefore wanted to share some information for parents and carers that might help.

Updated: 23 July 2021

In line with Government guidelines, and working with the Government's Roadmap, we have carefully created a Rainbows Roadmap which aims to keep our children, young people, families, staff and volunteers safe. Over the next few months we are planning the gradual return of our services.

The Rainbows Roadmap is subject to change in accordance with any Government changes.

Further to the Government’s announcement on the final step on their Roadmap going ahead on Monday 19 July, we wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how this affects us all here at Rainbows.
We are taking the same stance as the NHS and other health care organisations - there will be no changes/lifting of restrictions here at the Hospice or for our workforce in order to continue to protect our vulnerable children and young people. 

This means:

  • masks must continue to be worn at all times across all of the building (for all staff, volunteers, families and visitors)
  • PPE is still mandatory in clinical areas and when in direct contact with families 
  • we must continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines

Care and Family Support

  • we will continue to reinstate services when it is safe to do so– staying within Covid guidelines
  • communal areas (such as the Arts and Crafts Room, Children’s Lounge etc.) will be limited to a maximum of two families at a time
  • the number of family members able to be resident is restricted to household only
  • a negative PCR test is required before a planned short break at the Hospice 

Important – as previously mentioned, our Rainbows Roadmap will continue to be reviewed in line with the government’s plans and local restrictions - therefore it may change. We will continue to keep you updated.

If you have any questions, please contact your Family Support Worker directly or call: 01509 638 000

How do I avoid catching and spreading the virus?

Currently the best thing you can do is to follow the NHS guidelines. This includes washing your hands with soap and water regularly for up to 20 seconds, using hand sanitiser gel and catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue or sleeve, staying two metres apart from others and meeting outdoors as much as possible. Regular lateral flow testing for your family.

Managing staff and carers

Make sure you agree a plan with any carers or staff who enter your home and ensure they are strictly following the NHS guidelines. This includes family and friends who may visit. Put reminder notices around the home if that helps. 

If carers are employed through an agency, you could contact the agency to confirm their policy if you are worried.

Don’t forget to discuss a plan for what happens if you’re left without care. Involve your care agency and find out what they have in place. Your local authority should be able to tell you if they have any contingency plans.

Do you have family members or friends who could help?

Treatment plans and hospital appointments

It is important to continue to follow your agreed treatment plans as much as possible and unless specifically told otherwise, attend agreed appointments and procedures at your GP surgery, or hospital.

Medicines

Whilst there is no need to stock-pile large quantities of medicines, it is important as ever to ensure you have adequate supplies of medicines and other consumables.

Holidays and travel

There is useful advice for those planning holidays and travel from the NHS website and from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. It also includes guidance for those returning from abroad.

Who to contact if worried about coronavirus exposure

If you think you’ve been in contact with someone with coronavirus, or if you have any non-emergency concerns about your health, that of your child, or those in your household (including family members, staff and carers). Tell them that you are a carer and explain your situation. For emergency situations, call 999 immediately.

Where else to go for information and advice

There are a range of useful sources of information and advice available for those in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

UK Government Guidelines
NHS Guidelines

Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed of new advice as it becomes clearer. 

If you are concerned and would like to speak to a Rainbows member of clinical staff please contact your Family Support Worker or call 01509 638 000