ST Wilfrid’s Hospice has closed the Inpatient Unit for new admissions.

This is due to high staff absence levels and the need to support patients already in the hospice.

Chief Executive, David Scott-Ralphs said: “We are currently at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, with increased infections across Sussex at the same time as the vaccination programme is being rolled out.

We are not immune from this in the hospice, despite comprehensive infection prevention and control measures being in place.

The good news is that a large part of our workforce has now been vaccinated and more will be vaccinated in the coming weeks.

The Inpatient Unit is closed for new admissions at the present time while we support current patients and also in response to staff absences. In the community, we are currently visiting patients where this is deemed essential for pain and symptom control, otherwise we are supporting patients by telephone and video consultation.

Our 24/7 Nurse Line continues to be fully available to patients, families and professionals. Our workforce is having twice weekly Covid tests.

Hospice staff have been included in the prioritisation of health and care workers for the Covid vaccine. Over 140 members of our workforce have been vaccinated in recent days and many more are booked in to be vaccinated in the coming weeks. This programme includes any volunteer in a patient-facing role.”