St Luke’s – still here, still working for Sheffield
As you will understand, the demand for our services is incredibly high and we expect that to continue as other parts of the healthcare system refocus to cope with coronavirus.
How we’re adapting to maintain critical services
We’ve been planning for several weeks how to sustain critical services – in particular St Luke’s Community Nursing team and the In Patient Centre – through the crisis. Achieving this has been a huge effort; we’ve created a safe working ‘bubble’ for clinical teams, completely updated processes and protocols for working with patients and families, and equipped nurses and doctors with protective equipment and new ways of working.
Following government advice, we are actively managing the number of visitors on site at St Luke’s in order to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission to our patients, their visitors and our staff. Visits must now be made by appointment only - please call 0114 236 9911.
Our St Luke’s community nurses and doctors are still working to support 450 patients in their own homes across Sheffield, and we are at full capacity in our In Patient Centre with 20 patients receiving dedicated specialist care 24 hours a day. But we’ve suspended some services, particularly those involving social gatherings for vulnerable patients, clients and volunteers – these include Clifford House and day patient visits to our Active Intervention Centre.
Every day brings new challenges; our teams are not immune to the effects of coronavirus and the changes in our society. Protective equipment and hygiene products – all critical for safety – are hard to find, and in most cases the costs have escalated many fold. But we remain committed to safe care, and to maintaining patient services with the same dignity and compassion that we have across nearly 50 years.
We have undertaken a risk assessment for our security against coronavirus. For more information, you can read this COVID-19 Risk management statement here.
Changes you’ll see and how you can help us
Many other aspects of St Luke’s world have changed recently. Whilst we have started a phased reopening of our shops, the vast majority of them still remain closed. And we’re sad to say a temporary farewell to most of our wonderful volunteers – we’ll try to keep in touch and can’t wait to see you again in the future.
Needless to say, these changes pose us huge challenges, not least financially. We need to keep our critical services running whilst seeing our income reduce dramatically – you’ll recall that 75% of St Luke’s income comes from our community support, and that will be badly affected for a long time. But we still have ways that everyone can help – through our lottery, for example, and donations.
Keeping in touch
It has been lovely to receive calls and emails from so many of our supporters asking how they are able to help St Luke’s at this moment in time. As mentioned above, our website remains active and contains all the latest information on services and how you can continue to support us, should you want to help, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for our latest updates.
If you would like to contact us regarding our services and visiting, please continue to do so through our Reception team by calling 0114 236 9911 – and it is imperative that everyone rings ahead of visiting.
With our Reception team being so incredibly busy at the moment, if you just have a general query, comment or enquiry, or you are a volunteer needing help or information, please use our dedicated email [email protected]eld.co.uk – your message will be picked up and dealt with as soon as we can.
We’ll meet again…
Exactly how our services will change again in coming weeks we don’t know, but we are determined to continue providing care for patients approaching the end of their lives and their families. They need our support, whether affected by coronavirus or not.
Things will inevitably be strained in coming months, so for anyone who doesn’t receive the expected levels of St Luke’s service, please accept our apologies and we hope you’ll understand the situation.
We’re working hard to ensure that St Luke’s is here now, and will still be here in the future; we truly hope that in a few months’ time we’ll all be able to start afresh, and I am grateful for your support throughout.
We’re facing a challenge none of us was expecting. From all the team here at St Luke’s, we wish you and your family all the very best and hope that everyone stays safe in the coming weeks and months.