Hospital trusts across Humber, Coast and Vale region have been working hard to respond to the coronavirus pandemic to ensure the safety and quality of services for cancer patients.
Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and York Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust are putting arrangements in place to maintain capacity and provide high quality services for COVID-19 patients whilst cautiously increasing other urgent clinical services, important diagnostics, and surgery.
Dr Stuart Baugh, Clinical Director for Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance wants to reassure those patients who may be worried about coming into hospital at this time, that everything is being done to ensure patients’ safety and to support patients to understand what they should do when accessing services:
“Like the rest of the NHS, our number one priority for the last few months has been ensuring that all those who need urgent care – not only those with coronavirus – have been able to get it when they need it.
We will continue to ask patients to attend hospital only when it is really necessary. Where possible, appointments may be through video or over the phone.
If you are required to come to hospital you will be asked to take steps that reduce the risk of coronavirus being spread to staff and other patients.
This may include isolating at home for 14 days before admission for planned care (including day surgery), and only attending outpatient appointments if you do not have symptoms of coronavirus.”
“The health and wellbeing of all staff and patients remains our highest priority as we work to increase critical non COVID-19 services, and new ways of working are being put in place to ensure that our focus on safety remains.”
A national framework on reducing the transmission of COVID-19 in hospitals has been published by NHS England and NHS Improvement. Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance are working with local trusts to finalise an implementation plan for what that means for how we run cancer services across the region.
The priority is to minimise the transmission rate for the virus, with the aim of getting as close to zero as possible.