Coronavirus guidance

The Covid-19 outbreak has disrupted so much of the treatment and support that cancer patients and families rely on. It’s a challenging time; people with cancer and their families might feel especially worried about how the coronavirus virus outbreak will affect cancer treatment, care and support.

 

It’s why we’re here to care for anyone living with cancer, or supporting someone else, as we get through this – together at every step.

Latest guidance on coronavirus

From 5th November, new national restrictions will be introduced in England. To find out more or for information on the clinically vulnerable visit gov.uk

There are three simple actions we must all do to keep on protecting each other

  • Wash hands – keep washing your hands regularly
  • Cover face – wear a face covering in enclosed spaces
  • Make space
Latest guidance on shielding

While previous shielding guidance helped protect those most at risk from COVID-19, many people reported that they found the advice very restrictive.

Since the introduction of shielding, many new measures have been introduced in our communities, including the rule of 6, COVID-secure workplaces, and the widespread use of face coverings, all of which have reduced the need for such restrictive shielding advice.

 

Guidance still advises that clinically extremely vulnerable people continue to go outside for exercise, but to avoid busy areas to minimise the chance of coming into close contact with others. Otherwise, you should stay at home as much as possible.

View the latest guidance on shielding >

Guidance on signs, symptoms and testing

You are eligible to a free NHS test if at least one of the following applies:

  • you have a high temperature
  • you have a new, continuous cough
  • you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed
  • you’ve been asked to by a local council
  • you’re taking part in a government pilot project

You can also get a test for someone you live with if they have symptoms.

Find out more about testing here >

Has your treatment or operation been postponed?

This is a challenge for so many cancer patients and their families and although Weston Park and many other cancer units never stopped treatments completely, some procedures were delayed, and some patients might have been delayed in starting a treatment. It’s important you come for all your hospital treatments when you are asked to and your doctor will discuss your treatment at your appointment (face to face or telephone clinic) and you will be able to decide this together.

Someone in my family is self-isolating or has symptoms, should I still attend my hospital appointment?

You and your family should follow government guidelines with regards to social isolation. If your appointment is due whilst you are self-isolating due to COVID 19 symptoms please contact the department that you would be attending for advice.

I’m worried about cancer, what should I do during the coronavirus outbreak?

If you’re worried that symptoms you’re experiencing could be cancer, you can call and speak to one of our healthcare professionals. If appropriate, you will be advised to make an appointment with your GP, where services are running and your GP can decide how best to safely investigate your concerns.

Guidance on face coverings

The government advises that people should try to wear a face mask in enclosed spaces; including on public transport or whilst shopping. In the context of the coronavirus outbreak, a face covering is something which safely covers the nose and mouth. You can buy reusable or single-use face coverings. You may also use a scarf, bandana, religious garment or hand-made cloth covering but these must securely fit round the side of the face. However, there are some circumstances where people may not be able to wear a face covering, including medical reasons.

If you need to you can speak to our healthcare professionals about a face exemption card – just call 0114 553 3330 – or for more information about face masks visit the gov.uk website >

Coronavirus support bubbles

A support bubble is a close support network between a household with only one adult in the home (known as a single-adult household) and one other household of any size. Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in a single household with people from the other household. It means you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household.

Find out more about creating a support bubble >

Going into hospital during the coronavirus pandemic

There are lots of healthcare professionals working very hard to make sure treatment is delivered in the context of coronavirus. Staff have made a lot of changes at the hospital and these are directed at keeping you as safe as possible.

“There was certainly a difference in the hospital from when I was there previously in January to have my Radiotherapy. On my visit I attended the 4th floor, then onto X-ray and then onto Pharmacy. I think I saw around ten patients as I was walking around. Without as many patients around, this all seemed very strange.”

You can read more about Joanne’s experience here >

It is clear that many people remain worried about accessing healthcare when they need it.

 

All health care staff (including cancer care staff) across South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw are eager to remind everyone that their services continue despite a few changes. To help put you at ease about the fears that come with attending an appointment during this pandemic we worked with the Cancer Alliance to produce this video which will help explain some changes you might find.

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it is vital that you continue to use our services if you have concerns about your health.

 

While some consultations may now be completed in a different manner, it is imperative that you continue to get the healthcare you deserve. So please, help us help you, by continuing to follow the national guidance and to contact your GP or medical team if: You are a cancer patient who is worried about a developing problem, you are someone who is concerned they have the signs and symptoms of cancer. These include: Bleeding (that doesn’t come from an obvious injury), lumps, weight loss, any continued or prolonged pain or you have any other serious concerns about your health.

“The call has been much appreciated thank you, it has been really helpful to know I can get advice and support, especially as the hospital is even busier than normal at this time.”

 

Our help is free, confidential and open to anyone living with cancer, or supporting someone else, not just Weston Park patients.

 

If there’s anything you need – just call. If we can’t help we can direct you to others who can. The most important thing is that you don’t try to get through this alone – help is just a call away.