What you need to know now plan B is scrapped – a briefing from our Executive Team on Friday 21st January 2022:

It’s all change again! First a thank you for your patience in waiting for this updated guidance. We appreciate the government made their announcement to scrap Plan B a couple of days ago, but we needed to carefully consider our next move given the work we do and how vulnerable our patients are.

Measures in our hospices will remain in place for the foreseeable future. This means continued use of extra PPE and face masks, reduced visitor numbers and regular testing. We continue to ask non-clinical staff and volunteers based in our hospices to please take a lateral flow test each time they come in.  We and many other healthcare organisations, feel it’s far too early to relax these measures on our wards because of the work we do.

From next Thursday (27th January) face coverings are no longer mandatory in shops, entertainment venues and the like, though the government are advising that they’re still worn in enclosed or crowded spaces.  We’ve reviewed this and have decided the following:

Face masks/coverings must be worn throughout our hospices, unless you’re working alone in an office and with ventilation. The same applies in all our other offices where we would ask staff and volunteers to wear a mask unless working on their own.

Staff and volunteers in our shops, donation centres and warehouses must also continue to wear masks/face coverings. We’ll review this at the end of March. We’ll be advising customers that we would much prefer that they continue to wear a mask when in our stores and we’ll adjust our messaging accordingly.

For those of you still working from home, thank you. We know it’s been tough for some of you, but it’s helped us manage a very difficult risk. Today we’re launching our new Hybrid Working Policy that provides guidance about the future, especially for those of you who share small offices or who find working from home useful in terms of providing a quiet space to get a lot done. You can read it HERE and we would ask that you talk with your Line Manager about your future working arrangements if appropriate to your role in our charity.

There does appear to be a welcome beam of hope on the horizon as Covid figures come down, but we’re not out the woods yet. We need to remain cautiously optimistic at this stage. You’ve all done a brilliant job of protecting our front line and each other, so let’s keep it up for just a little while longer.

Paul, Gina, Graham and Verity