To encourage a return towards normality NHS England have asked cancer charities (late Oct 20) to advise that:
#NHS staff are taking additional measures to make sure cancer care and treatment can continue in the safest and best possible way.
#COVID-secure cancer hubs have been established for cancer surgery across the country to keep patients safe. Hubs will either be in COVID-protected parts of hospitals or in separate hospital sites completely, supporting hospitals and the independent sector to ensure people receive their treatment.
#Wider measures are being taken by all hospitals to ensure that COVID and non-COVID patients are kept separate. This may include using separate entrances for COVID and non-COVID patients, ensuring staff and patients do not move between different parts of the hospital, and making sure that, as far as possible, staff are social distancing both inside and outside of clinical areas.
#The staff caring for cancer patients will be vigilant for any symptoms that they or their families are showing and are required to self-isolate in line with government guidance. Staff will wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and will be tested for the virus if they are displaying symptoms. Hospitals are also testing staff who are asymptomatic, where there is testing capacity to do so.
#There are also steps that patients can take to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection. Detailed advice will be provided by the patient’s hospital but key measures include maintaining social distancing prior to an appointment, wearing a mask in the hospital and attending on their own (unless a patient needs someone to come with them, in which case we suggest they discuss this with their clinical team). Patients will also be tested before being admitted for their appointments and if they test negative, they should be tested again between 5-7 days after their appointment.
The slides below show the slow return towards normality comparing Mar-Aug 2020 with the same period in 2019