(For treatment side effects and complications only)
Winter is a time when many people become unwell with coughs, colds and viruses such as flu or COVID-19. This can be more serious for people aged 65 and over, those with long-term health conditions and people whose immune systems may be weaker due to their cancer or their cancer treatment.
Cold weather also poses risks to people's health. For example:
The NHS is here to help when you need it - and there are lots of things you can do to help yourself stay well this winter.
If you have cancer, you may be eligible for vaccinations against winter viruses including flu, COVID-19 and pneumoccal viruses (e.g. pneumonia and meningitis). Your GP practice will know if you are eligible or you can ask your consultant. You will usually receive an invitation if you are eligible. If you haven't been invited and think you may be eligible, don't hesitate to ask. You can find out more about booking winter vaccinations on the NHS.uk website. (Scroll down on that page to Vaccines for Adults.)
People at the highest risk of becoming very unwell with COVID-19 are eligible for certain treatments if they test positive using a lateral flow test. This includes people on many cancer treatments. If you are eligible and test positive for COVID-19 on a lateral flow test:
Find out more on the NHS.uk website.
There is some really useful advice in this handy leaflet on staying well this winter. It includes guidance on keeping your house warm and safe (e.g. gas safety and reducing the risk of slips, trips and falls at home).
Find out what help is available and find tips on reducing your bills in the Help for Households section of the Gov.uk website. Our Cancer Information and Support Centres can signpost you to advice and support in your area - we have centres in our three main hospitals (Aintree, Liverpool and Wirral). There is also lots of advice on the Age UK website aimed at people aged 60 and over.
Our Hotline team is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week if you are a patient currently being treated by The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre - or who completed treatment in the last six weeks (or immunotherapy in the last 12 months) - and you need urgent advice or care related to your cancer treatment or diagnosis.
Our Hotline is staffed by specialist cancer nurses who can provide expert advice. They are specially trained to help with complications of cancer and any side-effects from your treatment. They can also access any information they need from your cancer health records so they can provide the right advice.
You can call them for free any time on:
0800 169 5555
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call our Hotline using the Relay UK service.
If our Hotline team think you need further assessment, they will refer you to the right place. This could be:
Our Clinical Decisions Unit (CDU) specialises in urgent and emergency cancer care. The unit is open during the day from Monday to Friday and is based on Level 2 of Clatterbridge Cancer Centre - Liverpool (CCC-Liverpool).
Patients must be referred to the CDU by our Hotline team, their cancer care team, another team within The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre or their GP. (Please don't come directly to CDU.) It provides urgent assessment and initial treatment for people with cancer who have become unwell or developed complications that need urgent clinical assessment. These include:
Once patients have been assessed and had any immediate care needed, the CDU team will monitor their condition and arrange next steps. For example:
We work closely with other hospitals and healthcare providers across Cheshire and Merseyside so people with cancer get the right care in the right place. This includes:
The NHS Cheshire and Merseyside website has loads of advice and guidance on staying well this winter and how to access local health and care services if you need help.