Coronavirus update

A message from Francis House CEO David Ireland and Gill Bevin Registered Manager and Director of Care.

David Ireland

David Ireland, Chief Executive Officer

Dear Friends and Supporters,

We wanted to give people an update on the situation at Francis House.

The Hospice seems a very different place, the Fundraising team and many of the support staff are now on furlough during the lockdown and as you know our planned fundraising events have been put on hold until August at the earliest.

Francis House continues to offer support to our families in the following ways:

  1. Regular telephone calls to families unable to leave their homes.
  2. Social Emergency Respite – helping families to isolate their sick children if other members of the family develop COVID-19 symptoms.
  3. Symptom Control and End of Life Care (this may be in the families own homes).
  4. Use of the Rainbow Rooms and Bereavement Support.

In addition, we are in discussions with the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and other NHS providers to see how we can help relieve hospital beds for use by COVID-19 patients.

We are currently in a quiet time whilst we prepare for the peak of the COVID-19 crisis.  Amidst all of this we must not forget the seven residents at our residential facility, 463, who are struggling with their life-limiting conditions in addition to the lockdown.  It is so important that we keep them safe.

Gill Bevin

Gill Bevin, Registered Manager and Director of Care


Whilst dealing with the current situation we also need to be prepared for the aftermath, the increased need for respite to relieve weary parents; the different emotional support needs of various members of our families and the many emergencies that will result from sick young people being unable to access their normal hospital appointments, specialist consultants and life enhancing activities.  We are going to be very busy for some time to come!

Having said all of the above, it has been heartwarming to be on the receiving end of:

  • the expressions of goodwill and support and most importantly generous donations
  • the offers of protective equipment from friends and supporters who have rallied round to ensure that our supplies have been supplemented (we have received equipment from building contractors, health and safety firms, and technical companies but also small amounts from individual supporters including one radio Manchester DJ who donated a box of gloves!)

In addition, we have been impressed by the speed with which the Government has responded to the financial problems of all of the Hospices nationwide, both by providing emergency assistance promptly and paying the NHS England annual grant earlier than usual.

We certainly feel on the receiving end of a tremendous amount of both local and national support and we thank every single one of you for your response and goodwill.

We must also recognise the contribution of our dedicated staff (including three very special volunteers) who continue to show their concern for our families, who have trained and prepared the Hospice for the worst of scenarios and who will be there to pick up the pieces when the world begins to return to something like normality.

To everyone we say thank you, please keep in touch and most of all – keep safe!

Kindest regards






David Ireland, Chief Executive Officer

Gill Bevin, Registered Manager and Director of Care

Page last updated 16th April 2020

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