The debate about opening up from the COVID lockdown is a subject that people clearly feel very strongly about: some will welcome the lifting of restrictions on isolation, wearing face masks and social distancing but others will be wary of these changes.

At Strathcarron Hospice our policies and procedures are determined by Public Health guidance, and as the country opens up we expect to open up more slowly. We anticipate continued wearing of face masks and social distancing after these rules have been relaxed for public places in general. We also expect that the rules on isolation and appointment times for visiting are likely to continue in the Hospice for longer.

There is always a tension when we have to impose restrictions and it goes against our natural instincts to do so but, nevertheless, our patients are very vulnerable and we need to protect them as much as we can. At the moment, on admission it is still possible that a patient is incubating COVID and so each patient is admitted to a single room, only transferring to a ward when they have had a second Negative COVID test on the fifth day of their stay. This does limit access to the Hospice and creates a need to move patients during their stay to help us to admit more patients.

We are very grateful for your patience and understanding that we still have tighter restrictions than those for the general population. This is always in the interests of the safety of our patients and in accordance with official guidance. We hope that we are beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and it will be a huge relief when we can reach whatever becomes our new normal.