Information on Coronavirus for patients

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Please do not attend our hospital sites if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or who has symptoms of COVID-19. If you are a patient at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, please call our COVID-19 helpline on 0151 318 8048 (9am-5pm, Mon-Fri) instead or contact your cancer care team. They will advise you what to do.

FAQs for patients and visitors in regards to Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be viewed here.

Our visitor policy remains unchanged - to keep our patients and staff safe we have restricted access to all our sites. More information is available here.

Information on support for patients during the coronavirus pandemic is available here.

Phlebotomy: We are running drop-in sessions for patients who were due to have bloods done in community phlebotomy clinics that are not taking place. Find out more.

If you are a patient and have any further questions regarding coronavirus in relation to your treatment or clinic appointment, please contact The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre COVID-19 Helpline: 0151 318 8048 (Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm).

Cancer care during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

We know this is a worrying time for people and want to reassure you that we are taking every step to keep patients safe during their treatment and ongoing care with us. Many people with cancer fall into the ‘high risk’ category for complications from coronavirus. Some types of cancer and some types of cancer treatment can make people more vulnerable if they catch coronavirus – their body finds it harder to fight infections. That means we have made some changes to the way we care for patients to reduce the risks.

Information for current patients and those who have recently completed treatment

If we have asked you to attend hospital, it is very important that you come, even if you have been advised to stay at home and shield yourself. We will only ask you to come to hospital if it is essential for your healthcare. [Note: Do not attend hospital if you have symptoms of coronavirus – please call us and let us know so we can advise you.]

Steps we have taken to support patients
Our Medical Director, Dr Sheena Khanduri, explains what we are doing to support patients during the coronavirus pandemic in this video here.

  • We have a dedicated COVID-19 helpline for patients with any questions or concerns about coronavirus in relation to their treatment. It is staffed by senior nurses from Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm.
  • We have reviewed all treatments and carefully assessed the benefits versus the risks for patients, in line with national guidance. This is something we do anyway with all cancer treatments and now includes analysis of the risks from coronavirus. We are monitoring this closely and making any changes needed, as the situation with coronavirus changes.
  • To keep patients safe and help them avoid unnecessary trips to hospital, most consultations are by phone or by video.
  • Our specialist expertise means that, for some cancers, we can deliver the same dose of radiotherapy in fewer visits. This is just as effective and means you don’t need to come to hospital as often.
  • We are treating some patients with medication for a little longer before starting radiotherapy. This is just as effective and is standard practice in some other cancer centres.
  • Our pharmacy is dispensing more medication for some patients – for example, three months’ supply instead of one month’s – so they don’t need to visit hospital as often to collect it.
  • We have launched a pharmacy delivery service for oral treatments and outpatient medication for patients who have been advised to shield and who don’t have someone who can collect medication for them.
  • We have published FAQs and details of support services on our website.
  • Psychological support is also available for patients, where appropriate. Please ask your clinical team about it if you feel this would be appropriate for you.
  • We have written to those patients we have identified as being at higher risk from coronavirus and have offered them information and advice about how to protect themselves.

Treatment during the pandemic
We do understand that patients who have agreed a treatment plan with their clinical team may be concerned about any changes. Your clinical team will discuss this with you and will be happy to answer any questions you have, so please do not hesitate to ask.

Cancer services currently
We have continued seeing and treating patients throughout the pandemic. Some treatments were paused for safety reasons at the start of the pandemic and have now restarted.

Protecting cancer care in Cheshire & Merseyside

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre is the main cancer centre for a population of 2.4m people. We are working closely with other hospitals to protect cancer care across Cheshire and Merseyside during the coronavirus pandemic - for example, through 'hubs' for diagnostics and surgery. Urgent cancer care has remained a priority for the NHS throughout. Oncologists, surgical teams and other specialists are working together to ensure that all patients receive the care and support they need.

On 27th June 2020, we also opened Liverpool’s first specialist cancer hospital, a major milestone which will significantly increase capacity for cancer patients from across Cheshire and Merseyside. The 11-storey hospital has state-of-the-art facilities for treating solid tumours and blood cancers, along with pioneering clinical trials of new treatments. The facilities include 110 single, en-suite inpatient bedrooms, radiotherapy, bone marrow transplant, a chemotherapy lounge with incredible views across the city a clinical decisions unit for assessing acutely unwell cancer patients, outpatients and daycase, clinical therapies, and a teenage and young adult unit.

Protecting yourself from coronavirus

People having certain types of cancer treatment and people who have specific cancers are at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus. If you fall into this category, you will be contacted by the NHS.

The links below provide more information from the NHS and Public Health England about who is at high risk of getting seriously ill from coronavirus. They also explain the extra steps you can take to avoid catching it, including shielding yourself by staying at home:

The Government has recently announced they will be writing to people who may be at particularly high risk in line with new Local COVID Alert Levels with guidance to help support you take protective actions in your everyday life, while retaining as much normality as possible.

In addition to following the new rules set out by the Government for Liverpool City Region as it is placed into ‘very high’ local COVID Alert Level we recommend anyone with cancer can reduce their risk by:

  • Avoiding anywhere that might be busy
  • Taking extra care when leaving the house for exercise – try avoiding busy times of the day when you know lots of people will be out doing the same thing
  • Wear a face covering
  • Keep at least two metres away from people outside your household
  • Wash your hands for 20 seconds as soon as you return home with soap and warm water

Information & advice in accessible formats

Information on how to stay alert during the pandemic and what to do if you think you may have coronavirus has been published in a wide range of formats, including:

SignHealth BSL Videos

SignHealth, The Deaf Health Charity, have been producing BSL briefing videos following the daily government updates on coronavirus. They also have a large range of other useful advice and guidance on coronavirus. These videos can all be found here.

Information for visitors during coronavirus

In order to keep our patients and staff safe during the coronavirus pandemic, we have restricted access to all our sites in line with the national NHS guidance:

  • Only patients, staff and essential services (e.g. deliveries) are allowed.
  • No visitors are allowed, including family members/carers, other than exceptional circumstances agreed in advance.

We are sorry that we cannot allow visitors at this time and hope you will appreciate that we are doing it to keep people safe and reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission as far as possible. This is especially important for people with cancer and those caring for them.

The visitor page of this website has more information and will be updated as soon as there are any changes to our visiting policy.

For further help, support and guidance, please speak to the Nurse or team leader in charge.

What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms

If you have an appointment with us but are experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus – for example, a high temperature or persistent cough – please do not attend. Instead, call the number on your appointment letter to let us know so we can advise you.

Do not visit any of our sites if any of the following apply:

  • You have symptoms of coronavirus that started within the last 10 days
  • You have tested positive for coronavirus, even if you have no symptoms or don’t feel unwell
  • You share a household with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus that started within the last 14 days.
Please see the Public Health England website for the latest advice.

We thank you for your understanding and would like to remind everyone to follow Public Health England's advice:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.