“We are working on the frontline to keep the hospice movement going – and that’s exactly how it should be.”

Mountbatten’s Spiritual Care Lead, Rev Iain McFarlane, known affectionately as Rev Mac, has had to adapt to the coronavirus crisis to enable us to continue providing vital support to patients and their families.

Distressing and painful questions are common to everyone when facing death, dying and bereavement, regardless of faith or religious beliefs.

At Mountbatten, spiritual care is an integral part of our work, helping us to offer care and compassion to people facing difficult issues around the meaning and value of life.

While coronavirus has created challenges, it has not stopped us from providing that personal touch, which is so important to so many.

“The effect of wearing PPE has made a huge difference because patients cannot see the expressions in our faces, which can be a real comfort to them,” said Rev Mac.

“Not being able to hold their hand or offer a hug is hard for us all, that can be incredibly powerful, especially given that families cannot be together as they would want in these times.

“But we are finding ways. We are far more expressive with our hands and we are very precise in our language and tone of voice.

“I am spending lots of more time on our inpatient unit, visiting patients to talk and listen to them, and we are still seeing people in their own homes, particularly those who are more lonely and isolated.

“We are also seeing many more family members, because many simply cannot see their loved ones as they usually would do.

“We are doing all we can to get through this period as best as possible and knowing we have our community behind us is of huge comfort to us all, so thank you.”