Due to the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus, Covid-19 we have made the pre-emptive decision to temporarily reduce our service to UK hospitals. Currently, we automatically provide every UK hospital with stock every 6 months, but due to infection control measures, some hospitals are refusing donated items which we fully understand. To help reduce the pressure on frontline staff during the current situation we will instead be sending letters out to each hospital to arrange restock if needed. We are also of course still able to send out boxes to hospitals on request, direct to families and to funeral directors so our service is still available to those in need.
The current stance on infection risk from parcels is that ‘the likelihood of an infected person contaminating commercial goods is low and the risk of catching the virus that causes COVID-19 from a package that has been moved, travelled, and exposed to different conditions and temperature is also low.’ (World Health Organisation, 2020). Therefore, we are still accepting parcels sent into our office of knitting and sewing items from our volunteers, but there may be a delay in these being acknowledged as we are implementing a new incoming post procedure to minimise any potential infection risk.
We are very grateful for the hard work that all of our volunteers do for the charity, and if any of our volunteers are experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19, or any other illness we urge you to put your health first, seek medical treatment where needed and to rest! You can find more information on the symptoms of Covid-19 and how it is treated here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
The easiest way to stop the spread of any virus is through frequent handwashing with soap and water, and we have a handwashing station available to all visitors, staff and volunteers within our office. We are also continuing to regularly disinfect workspaces, door handles and items that are frequently touched, in the same way we have always done. The charity holds enough stock to meet the current need indefinitely, and there is no reason that this will have any kind of impact on our ability to offer our service, nor that families will experience any delays. We will be reviewing this situation in coming months and will hopefully be resuming our usual service as normal shortly.