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: 20 April 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.

Changes to Care Services:

No earlier than Monday 29 March 2021:

  • home sitting support to recommence
  • virtual support to continue for Family Support services
  • Hydrotherapy reopens for Rainbows Children & Young People

No earlier than Monday 12 April

In addition to the above, we'll be looking to reintroduce:

  • bookings for planned short breaks to reopen, capacity will be reduced to ensure we can remain safely socially distanced. You will be receiving a letter on how to make bookings and when. The number of Short Breaks you will be able to book has been reduced to ensure we are able to offer the service to as many families as possible.
  • only household members will be able to stay. Complementary Therapy and Music Therapy to recommence for all at the hospice
  • maximum of two children / young people may mix outdoors at Rainbows
  • external support groups may restart (outside)

No earlier than Monday 17 May:

In addition to the above, we'll be looking to reintroduce:

  • routine Short Breaks/Respite recommence - with a maximum of three families staying at any one time. Testing is likely to be required prior to stay pre-admissions continue with staggered admission and discharge times
  • planned visits to a child or young person, a maximum of two adults permitted
  • reopening Soft Play (this is subject to change)
  • pre-admissions continue with staggered admission and discharge times

No earlier than Monday 21 June:

In addition to the above, we'll be looking to reintroduce:

  • open to full capacity (subject to change)
  • support groups back in place face-to-face, with outdoor meetings being encouraged and available for booking

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.

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.


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.

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