COVID-19: Torbay and South Devon palliative service guide

27 May 2020

Rowcroft Hospice

  • Core services will continue to run
  • Inpatient Unit (IPU): most of our 'at risk' staff have returned to the unit
  • Staff redeployed to the unit will return to their substantive posts elsewhere in the organisation by June 1st, excepting one staff member still shielding awaiting further national guidance and one part-time consultant still needing to work remotely
  • Hospice@Home: this service will resume its pre-COVID capacity from 1 July as staff deployed into this service are required to return to their substantive posts. Capacity will therefore reduce to circa 8 patients per day from this date
  • Community: no changes. We will retain the use of AccuRX to continue to support remote assessments and reduce the need for home visits unless needed until COVID is no longer a threat
  • Complementary/Music TX: We are considering what this offer will be, particularly for Comp TX given the requirement to wear PPE within 2m of patients
  • OPD: following risk assessment of the environment to ensure it is COVID-secure we will reopen the use of the clinic facilities for medical, physio and Comp TX consultations/treatment
  • Education: from 1 September we plan to restart our programme of training following risk assessment and any adjustments required. We will also look to use more on-line training methods such as webinars as well, keeping face to face for the essential training programmes like advance communication skills training whilst maintaining COVID-secure practices
  • COVID Emotional helpline: we will evaluate the use of the service before the end of August when it is due to finish and we will decide with our colleagues whether to there is a need to continue it and any ongoing costs that would need to be considered


This information provides guidance on the management of palliative patients across Torbay and South Devon during the Covid-19 pandemic. The information is based on Community Palliative Care Western locality guidance – COVID-19.

Please find below guidance around managing patients who are in the community with COVID-19

For advice or questions regarding this guidance, please contact the Rowcroft Hospice Team

For further guidance of palliative care management please refer to the Southwest Devon Formulary Chapter 16.

COVID-19: NHS Devon CCG-End of Life Care Resource for GPs (inc.links to the Formulary Guidance)

Referrals to inpatient Unit

  • To discuss possible in-patient admission 9am - 5pm Telephone: 01803 210810 or 24/7 advice line 01803 210800 for out of hours enquiries

​Urgent advice

  • For advice on decision making regarding whether admission to hospital is appropriate please call Critical Care GP support rota via Torbay and South Devon hospital switchboard on 01803 614567.

Torbay and South Devon contact information

Rowcroft Hospice
  • 24/7 advice line 01803 210800
  • Community team Monday to Friday, 8.30am - 5pm 01803 210811
  • Community team weekends and bank holidays 9am – 1pm 01803 210812
  • To discuss possible in-patient admission 9am - 5pm 01803 210810 or 24/7 advice line 01803 210800 for out of hours enquiries
  • Hospice at Home 01803 217620

​Supporting Information

Pathway Group

This guideline has been signed off on behalf of the NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group

Last updated: 08-06-2020


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