A life in the day of a St Helena SinglePoint call handler during coronavirus

Since Covid, our usual team of 5 call handlers has gained four new call handlers from members of staff seconded over from other areas of the hospice including team secretaries and our complementary therapy team leader.

Our shifts used to cover the hours from 7.30am to 8pm, but we are now assisting on nights too.

When the team expanded, we were moved to a different office so we could work whilst remaining 2 metres away from our colleagues. Our IT and maintenance teams created a make-shift office for us out of one of our meeting rooms and this allows us to work safely together.

On an average day we can take 100 or so calls. These can come from many different sources: a patient known to SinglePoint; or a member of their family; a GP or other clinician from a surgery; consultants and specialist nurses from hospitals or other hospices; community nurses; paramedics; and nursing/residential homes; and there are many more, but the bulk of the calls come from this list.

Every call is different and often with a family - especially when patient is nearing end of life, they can be very emotional. It is really important we make the caller aware that we aren't clinically trained and we try to ascertain the reason for the call by just asking a few questions, then we have to log the call on the system and code it under our red, amber and green system.

If the call is red, the nurse on duty aims to return the call within two hours; amber calls are returned within four hours; and green, 6 hours.

If we feel the call is an emergency, we do our best to transfer the call directly to a nurse on duty. Also if a GP, paramedic or consultant rings in we do our best to transfer straight away rather than log the call.

Our role also includes managing the SinglePoint email account, into which most of our new referrals come in and information on new referrals that has been requested from surgeries and the hospital. This averages out to 35-40 items most days. We have to check the information is correct and is relevant to just one patient, then we upload the information to our database and task the relevant team that needs to deal with it.

The My Care Choices Register is also looked after by us - so if anyone in the hospice or GP surgery has any problems with it we try and help. We also add any new patients to the register as and when required.

Contact Information

To contact the St Helena Fundraising team, please telephone 01206 931 468 or email fundraising@sthelena.org.uk , Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm.


To contact the St Helena Retail team, for enquiries about our shops, donation centre and house clearance service please telephone 01206 890 165.


24 hour advice: SinglePoint 01206 890 360

SinglePoint is a 24/7 advice and support helpline which helps to coordinate an individual’s care with the hospice. SinglePoint also works alongside other healthcare services such as GPs, Community Nurses or Specialists.

The Hospice

To contact a patient at The Hospice please find the address and telephone number below. Phone calls can be made to patients at any time of the day or week. You can contact Inpatient Services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The Hospice, Myland Hall, Barncroft Close, Highwoods, Colchester, C04 9JU

Telephone: 01206 845 566

Hospice in the Home

You can contact The Hospice in the Home Team Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 5.00pm on:

Colchester/Halstead team
Telephone: 01206 845 566

Tendring community team
Telephone: 01255 221 222

Day Therapies

You can contact the Joan Tomkins Centre (Colchester) Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on:

Telephone: 01206 848 163

Fax: 01206 752 245

You can contact the St Helena Tendring Centre (Clacton) Monday to Friday, between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01255 221 222

Tendring Centre Postcode for Sat Navs: CO15 1EU

Human Resources

The HR Team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01206 931 466

Finance Team

To contact the St Helena Finance Team please telephone 01206 931 450 Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

Volunteer Services Team

The Volunteer Services team can be contacted Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm on 01206 931 466

Media Enquiries

For all media enquiries between 9.00am and 5.00pm, Monday to Friday, please phone the Marketing and Communications team directly on 01206 931 464

Patient Referrals

If you, or a member of your family has a life-limiting illness and would like to discuss whether St Helena care services can help, you can contact the SinglePoint telephone service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 01206 890 360

Bereavement Support

To contact the St Helena Bereavement Support team please telephone the bereavement helpline: 01206 984 274, Monday to Friday, 9.00am to 5.00pm

Learning and Development Centre

The Learning and Development Centre is open Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 5.00pm and can be contacted on 01206 851 560

Service User Group

For more information on the St Helena Service User Group please contact Chair, Ken Aldred on 01206 751 397

Facilities Hire Enquiries

01206 851560


To contact the Lottery team please call 0800 285 1390 or visit the website here, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

If you would like to write to or visit the Lottery team, the address is: Your Hospice Lottery Office Unit 6 The Atrium, Phoenix Square, Wyncolls Road, Colchester CO4 9AS.

Comment, compliment or complaint

Feedback, comments and complaints about St Helena care and support services may be made verbally or in writing to: Director of Care, St Helena, Myland Hall, Barncroft Close, Highwoods, Colchester, CO4 9JU. To speak to a member of our team, call 01206 845 566