Overgate Launches Covid-19 Support Line

Monday 20 Apr 2020
Overgate Hospice has been continuing to provide care throughout the coronavirus outbreak, with staff remaining committed to providing the very best end-of-life care as well ensuring every patient maintains their independence and dignity, right to the end.
However as stories emerge of those in the community who are being affected by the outbreak, Overgate is launching a new telephone service to offer support and advice during this difficult time. This new service is being operated by the Hospice’s existing Patient and Family Support Team, who have extensive skills and experience supporting patients and families through end-of-life care and into bereavement. The service will also be supported by a number of nurses who are returning to practice to assist the fight against Covid-19. This includes Overgate’s recently retired Director of Clinical Services as well as a volunteer Trustee of the charity who is a retired nurse.
‘HEAR FOR YOU’ launches on Monday 20th April to provide emotional support in Calderdale to:-
  • Relatives or friends of patients being cared-for in any health or social care setting in relation to COVID-19.
  • Relatives or friends of patients who may be cared for at the Nightingale Ward in Harrogate.
  • All relatives and friends of end-of-life patients.
  • Bereaved relatives and friends who can only attend funerals at the crematorium or burial in restricted numbers.
  • Any health professional providing a frontline service in response to COVID-19.
The HEAR FOR YOU phone line will operate between 10am and 6pm, 7 days a week, to provide a listening ear to support those in need in relation to Covid-19. Anyone who requires further help will be signposted to other services ranging from practical and financial assistance through to specialist bereavement, spiritual and psychological support.
This service has been funded by the local Clinical Commissioning Group as part of their response to the Covid-19 outbreak.
Jet Hardinge, Overgate Hospice Psychotherapist/Counselling Coordinator, says, “Covid-19 is having a huge impact on all our lives: loneliness and isolation - arising from the loss of freedom due to the impact of the lockdown restrictions; fear - when someone close become ill; helplessness - when loved ones receive hospital care and normal visiting is prohibited; intense grief - magnified by the current limitations surrounding attendance at funerals; immense stress and strain being experienced daily by our front-line health care professionals.
HEAR FOR YOU offers people a confidential space to talk about that impact and emotional support when individuals need it the most.”
Rev Andy Thewlis, Overgate Hospice Chaplain, says, “As the pandemic continues, more and more people will be directly affected and many will experience moments of darkness and despair when everything seems out of control. Finding someone to share the journey with and stand alongside you in difficult circumstances, when dreams have been stolen, can be a great comfort. HEAR FOR YOU is a place to find someone who will listen, empathize and provide compassionate care.”
Tracey Wilcocks, Director of Clinical Services at Overgate Hospice said, “We are already hearing from our colleagues across Calderdale that they have to deal with incredibly difficult situations due to the coronavirus outbreak. Our new telephone support line will offer emotional and practical support to staff working in health and social care in our area to ensure that they can continue to give the best to care to the most vulnerable people in our community. On top of this, we know that many families are facing tragic times as visiting has been withdrawn from many settings and funerals and cremations are taking place with little or no family present. Our team are here to offer support to these families, helping them to deal with the emotions that these difficult situations are creating. We know the whole health and social care system is working hard to set up additional capacity to manage the expected surge in the number of patients that are going to need care, and we are committed to doing all that we can to help in this difficult time.”