East Cheshire Hospice is hoping to reopen its Sunflower Centre in September.
The day care unit – the hub for the Hospice’s outpatient services – has been closed for three months.
Clinical Director Sandra Jones said: “We’re taking it a day at a time, but we’re planning to have small groups back towards the start of September.
“Obviously, we’ll be adhering to social distancing and keeping footfall as low as possible. We need to make sure it’s safe for everyone who comes into the unit.
“There are logistics involved and many patients rely on our volunteer drivers to collect them. We need to get the volunteers back on board and make sure they feel happy to go and bring people in.
“We also have volunteers who serve food and refreshments. That all depends on who’s willing to come in.”
The Sunflower Centre, managed by Helen Henshaw, has continued some services, including counselling, via phone and video calls. An online afternoon tea is popular.
Sunflower Centre manager Helen Henshaw in the day care unit.
Staff were redeployed to help the IPU and Hospice @Home teams and other areas, including laundry and housekeeping.
Sandra said: “We’ve been supporting patients with weekly calls to see how they are and signposting them to GPs and district nurses if necessary. Most just need a welfare catch up and someone to talk to and run things by.”
“The team have been fantastic, moving round to fill gaps and changing rotas at the drop of a hat to make sure we still provide a service.”