We have greatly expanded our 10 bedded in-patient unit to a maximum total of 26 beds to support the national coronavirus response and need in our community, and from Thursday 16 April the Katharine House Response Centre is now fully operational.

Our Chief Executive, Angharad Orchard, said: “The coronavirus pandemic is an unparalleled health emergency which requires an unprecedented response. As a local provider of specialist care, Katharine House Hospice is well-placed to quickly support the NHS by providing staffing and our facilities during this crisis.

We are proud that the Katharine House Response Centre will provide much-needed support to our NHS colleagues and care for people in our community who have been so supportive of our hospice for so many years.

Over the last week, we have been working with the NHS and funding commissioners to draw up plans and operationalise these in order to re-purpose our hospice building to enable us to significantly extend our service and accommodate the additional beds and equipment required to support the national coronavirus response.

The hospice will also continue to support our current patients, and local people diagnosed with a life-limiting illness over the coming weeks will still be able to access Katharine House’s services.

A major consideration for us was how we can care for as many people as possible over the coming weeks and continue to provide as many of our existing services as possible whilst also looking after those diagnosed with coronavirus. During this crisis, we have adapted our ways of working to ensure our services are still there for patients and families when they need us. Our teams will continue to ensure a high level of joined-up care and support for all our patients.”

The situation is changing rapidly. Katharine House will continue to review its approach in collaboration with local health services, to ensure that its staff and facilities are used in the most effective way possible during these difficult times, to respond to the needs of people in our community who are facing a life-limiting illness.

To support Katharine House Hospice at this time, donations can be made here.

Read our latest updates and guidance on visiting the hospice during the Coronavirus(COVID-19) pandemic.