Children and families are at the absolute heart of CHAS. So it's important to highlight, we remain determined to be there for everyone in our care throughout the Coronavirus crisis, and beyond.
However, this crisis is hitting us hard. Most of our fundraising activities have been cancelled or put on hold and over the last few weeks, we have had to develop new ways of working.
But we are fully committed to three things all over Scotland:
During the Coronavirus pandemic, we are adapting our services in Rachel House and Robin House. With social distancing and our nursing staff self-isolating where necessary, we are prioritising unplanned and crisis care.
We are able to support end-of-life care, acute deterioration in clinical conditions, and families whose resilience is challenged by these unusual times.
This week, CHAS is proud to launch the UK's first virtual children's hospice - a great example of Scotland leading the way in responding to the global crisis. This will support Scotland's most vulnerable children and their families who are self-isolating or unable to visit one of our hospices.
For families who can't come to the hospice, we will take our hospice to them. We are offering families nursing, medical and pharmacy advice by phone and video; bereavement support; money and benefits advice; and practical advice around Coronavirus. Our dedicated volunteers will make friendship calls to ensure parents don't feel alone. We also offer a storytelling service for children at home; letter writing for children and parents; activity packs and art clubs; and have partnered with the great Hearts and Minds charity to deliver virtual Clowndoctor visits into children's homes.
We will do all that while ensuring face-to-face care is prioritised for emergencies and crisis.
We are already working with NHS colleagues across every children's hospital in Scotland, with specialist colleagues also working alongside the NHS in Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen and Kilmarnock as we deliver our hospice and at-home care. In the weeks ahead, we are preparing for even closer joint working if this is needed, including:
All the while, we are working hard to support our staff through this most difficult of time, and radically changing our fundraising plans to ensure we have the resources we need to delivery these services.
This is an extraordinary and challenging time for us all and as outlined above, we remain committed to supporting children and their families who needs us now more than ever.