New year message from our Chief Executive

08 January 2021
Going into 2021, I think we were all hopeful that easier days were ahead as the Covid vaccines start to be rolled out across the country – and there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel in that regard.

But it is disappointing, if not surprising given the new, more transmissible variant of Covid, that we find ourselves starting the new year back in lockdown.

Once again, we are having to respond to the changing situation – the difference is this time round we are better prepared for it. Following a review of our risk assessment we have decided to cancel planned respite stays, but we will still be providing crisis respite care to families in need, and of course we remain open for emergencies, end of life care and care after death.

In addition, all the new ways of working we’ve had to introduce in the last 10 months, like video and phone consultations will help us to continue to support families through this latest lockdown.

We have also started Covid testing in the hospice for staff and families, which is really helping us manage those people who are asymptomatic, and offers reassurance to families coming in for care.

We’ve been really lucky throughout the pandemic that we haven’t been impacted by significant staff sickness, but with this new more transmissible variant, we are heightening our precautions to protect staff and service users, and being able to test in-house is an important part of that.

Throughout the pandemic, our care has helped to reduce hospital admissions, and with the current surge in Covid cases, that has never been more vital. Families are understandably nervous, and reluctant to take their children to hospital unless absolutely necessary. The ability to come to Martin House offers them assurance and support in these uncertain times.

Of course, as a charity it is a blow that we’ve had to shut our shops yet again – but when they are open they have been incredibly well supported, and our Ebay shop is still able to trade.

We’ve also just run a very successful Christmas appeal, and our fundraising team is working hard to develop a programme of events and activities for the second half of the year, when hopefully our lives will be getting back to normal.

Ultimately we will get through it, but it will just take time. Hopefully this lockdown will bring cases down, and with vaccinations taking place, we will see the tide turn against this disease.

In the meantime, stay safe and stay well, and let’s look forward to a better year in 2021.