Coronavirus information for parents and carers

Here at Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People, we understand that outbreaks such as COVID-19 can be particularly worrisome 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: 19.03.2020

In line with Government guidelines, for the safety of our children, young people, families, staff and volunteers, Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People will be temporarily stopping its respite and day care services.

However, Rainbows will be continuing to offer end of life care, family and bereavement support and increasing our virtual support services. We will also be working with local hospitals to see how we can support their families during this difficult time.

We have already begun contacting families who were due to come and stay with us for respite care and day care sessions in the coming weeks. Although there is always some disappointment, because our families love coming to Rainbows, they do understand that we are putting their health and wellbeing first. We look forward to starting up our respite and day care services again as soon as it’s safe to do so.

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

What is Coronavirus?

Coronavirus is a new type of illness which spreads easily from person to person. You can access current UK Government Guidelines and advice here.

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.

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.

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