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Image of Dr Dan Cottingham sat in a GP office wearing a pink shirt, NHS lanyard and Macmillan name badge. Dan is wearing glasses and smiling. There is a computer screen and book shelf behind him.

Dr Dan Cottingham appointed Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance’s GP Lead

By | Cancer Alliance

Dr Dan Cottingham has been confirmed as the new CRUK GP Lead for Humber, Coast and Vale (HCV) Cancer Alliance.

The appointment of Dr Cottingham, Macmillan GP Cancer and End of Life Lead Vale of York CCG and partner at Sherburn Group Practice, will ensure primary care perspectives remain integral to Cancer Alliance strategic plans and pathway development.

Image of Dr Dan Cottingham who is the GP Lead for Cancer at Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance. The image shows Dan standing in front of a brick wall, wearing a shirt and tie. He is wearing glasses and is smiling.

By leading a strong network of primary care clinical leaders and engaging with wider GP communities from across the Alliance, Dr Cottingham will work collaboratively to support the ambitions of HCV Cancer Alliance, focussing on system wide transformations that improve patient outcomes.

Dr Cottingham said: “I’m thrilled to be working with the Alliance as GP Lead for Cancer within the Humber, Coast and Vale region.

“For years I’ve been passionate about patient led care and one of the key areas I’d like to drive forwards is ensuring the patient experience of cancer pathways is central to planning and decision-making within the Alliance.”

Infographic containing a blue backgroup and NHS Logo. There is a dark blue illustration of a phone with a speech bubble that says 'You're 10th in the queue.' The header reads 'no more hanging on the line' and the main body of text states, 'save yourself the wait and access GP practice services online. nhsonline.info.

No more waiting in line or on the line… patients can access GP services online in Humber, Coast and Vale

By | Cancer Alliance

Patients in Humber, Coast and Vale can access medical advice and help from their GP – without needing to visit their local GP practice in person or wait on the phone.

The free online GP practice service, which can be used at any time of the day, can save people time because it removes the need for them to make unnecessary phone calls or trips to their GP practice to request the help they need. The confidential online service can be used by anyone registered with a GP practice and is accessible via smartphone, tablet or computer.

Patients using the service will be able to:

  • Seek medical advice about a new problem or an ongoing issue
  • Take part in an online consultation
  • Order repeat prescriptions
  • Manage appointments
  • Request test results
  • Request GP letters and ‘fit for work’ notes

To access the online service, patients can visit their GP practice website and follow the simple instructions. They can use the search tool at nhsonline.info to find their GP practice website and more information about GP online services.

Dr Nigel Wells, a GP and Clinical Lead for the Humber, Coast and Vale Health and Care Partnership, said:

“The free GP practice online service gives patients much more flexibility and choice in how and when they access healthcare.

“People with busy lives often struggle to find the time to contact their GP practice to request help, so this service offers them the convenience of accessing GP services online, at a time that suits them.

“This means patients can avoid unnecessary trips to their GP practice for non-urgent health issues, and they won’t need to spend time waiting on the phone, as requesting medical advice and administrative tasks such as managing repeat prescriptions and getting test results can now be managed online.

“This service does not replace face-to-face appointments, which will continue to be available for anyone who needs them. By people accessing services online when it’s appropriate to do so, it frees up face-to-face GP appointments for those people who really need them.”

Infographic containing a blue backgroup and NHS Logo. There is a dark blue illustration of a phone with a speech bubble that says 'You're 10th in the queue.' The header reads 'no more hanging on the line' and the main body of text states, 'save yourself the wait and access GP practice services online. nhsonline.info.

For patients requesting online consultations, symptoms can be submitted via a simple online form. They will then get a response from their GP practice within 1-2 working days. This could be via email, phone or video call.

The response from your GP surgery could include medical advice, the offer of a face-to-face appointment or referral to another health service, such as your local pharmacy.

You should contact the NHS 111 service if you require urgent medical attention, or call 999 or visit your nearest A&E department in an emergency.

To access the GP online service, visit your GP practice website.

You can use the search tool at nhsonline.info to find your GP practice website and find out more about GP online services.

An image of a computer screen displaying an open web browser on a page about shielding. The title of the page says ' Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19'.

New shielding guidance for the extremely vulnerable group

By | Living with and Beyond Cancer | No Comments

From 6 July, new shielding guidance from the government will come into effect. This guidance applies to the clinically extremely vulnerable who are shielding in England during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The updated advice

You can meet in a group of up to 6 people outdoors, including people from different households, while maintaining strict social distancing.

You no longer need to observe social distancing with other members of your household.

In line with the wider guidance for single adult households (either an adult living alone or with dependent children under 18), you may also form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. All those in a support bubble will be able to spend time together inside each other’s homes, including overnight, without needing to socially distance. This is a small advisory change that brings those affected a step nearer others in their communities. However, all the other current shielding advice will remain unchanged at this time.

From 1 August

From 1 August, the shielding advice will relax further, allowing those shielding to participate in activities such as visit shops and places of worship, provided they take particular care to maintain social distancing and minimise contact with others outside their household.

You should remain cautious as you are still at risk of severe illness if you catch coronavirus, so the advice is to stay at home where possible and, if you do go out, follow strict social distancing

Who this guidance is for

People who are clinically extremely vulnerable are at high risk of serious illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. They should have received a letter advising them to shield or have been told by their GP or hospital clinician.

This includes:

  • those with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
  • those with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
  • anyone with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • those receiving immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • those receiving other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • anyone who has had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs

For more shielding information and guidance, visit www.gov.uk.

If you’re currently shielding and are looking for support, click here for details on how local groups have adapted to be able to continue supporting cancer patients and their families.

Help for cancer patients throughout COVID and beyond

By | Treatment and Pathways | No Comments

Over recent months, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to difficulty, heartache and worry for millions of people across the UK. But imagine being diagnosed with cancer at the same time, or undergoing cancer treatment knowing you are much more susceptible should you catch this potentially fatal disease.

Thankfully, the staff and patients at the Queen’s Centre, Castle Hill Hospital, have a team of supporters looking out for them before, during and after the pandemic.

The DanKitching35 Foundation has been providing local cancer patients with activities, days out, equipment and more for almost three years now.

The charity was set up in 2017 in memory of dad-of-three, Danny Kitching, who died from an aggressive form of bowel cancer aged just 35.

In recent months, the charity and its supporters have served as a lifeline for patients spending time on oncology wards during the COVID-19 pandemic. Having previously supplied TVs and personal computers for patient use, these items really came into their own as visiting restrictions tightened and keeping in touch with loved ones became increasingly important.

But a good cuppa can also be worth its weight in gold, so the charity has continued to supply wards 30, 31, 32 and 33, plus the outpatients and radiotherapy departments, with tea, coffee and biscuits throughout the pandemic too.

And not wishing to forget the hospital’s hardworking staff, the foundation has also provided refreshments, treats and essentials for those putting themselves at risk to deliver life-saving care and treatment in the trust’s specialist oncology centre.

Bryan Birch, Danny’s father-in-law and Trustee of the DanKitching35 Foundation says:

“Chemotherapy treatment, in particular, can be gruelling, leaving people feeling really low, tired and unwell. While Danny was receiving his treatment, we saw just how important it was for him to have things to look forward to between cycles of treatment and to keep himself occupied when he had to spend time on the ward.

“Since Danny tragically passed away, thanks to the support and generosity of our sponsors and fundraisers, we’ve been able to provide items and experiences great and small to improve the lives of cancer patients and those caring for them.

“We’ve paid for short breaks for cancer patients and their families, events, days out, and personal computers which patients can use on the wards to stay in touch with loved ones.

“We’ve provided hundreds of dressing gowns and personal care packs for patients admitted in an emergency or without provisions, and then we’ve also supplied the more routine or daily comforts such as refreshments, tea and biscuits for staff and patients across the wards, outpatients and radiotherapy departments.

“Supporting cancer patients, their families and staff is our way of acknowledging the outstanding care shown to Danny and of keeping our memories of this wonderful and deeply caring man alive.”

Angie Barstow, Junior Sister on Ward 32 at the Queen’s Centre says:

“The DanKitching35 Foundation has been a great support to the Queen’s Centre in recent years, and we’ve seen first-hand the positive impact their donations have had and the benefits they’ve brought to our patients and their families.

“The past few months have been particularly difficult for us all; coronavirus has placed a significant additional strain on our hospitals and for cancer patients in particular, who are more vulnerable to the disease, it’s been a time of great concern.

“But the DanKitching35 Foundation has been a shining light for us throughout, and thanks to carefully managed and safe deliveries, coronavirus hasn’t stopped the group from ensuring our hospital patients can still access the comforts and refreshments they’ve come to appreciate.

“On behalf of all the oncology centre staff and patients, we’d like to thank the DanKitching35 Foundation for their ongoing support.”

For more details about the work of the DanKitching35 Foundation, visit www.dankitching35foundation.org.uk  or email dankitching35foundation@gmail.com

A graphic to advertise Cervical Screening Awareness Week 2020, occurring 15th to 21st June. The Humber, Coast and Vale logo is in the bottom left of the image.

Safely restoring cervical screening services during COVID-19

By | Awareness and Early Diagnosis | No Comments

Monday 15 June to Sunday 21 June is Cervical Screening Awareness Week and although NHS cervical screening services have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, colleagues across the Humber Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance (HCV CA) are working hard to ensure services are restored in a consistent and safe way.

Women and people with a cervix aged 25 to 49 are invited for a cervical screening every 3 years and those aged between 50-64 are invited every 5 years. During the appointment, a small sample of cells is taken from the cervix and cervical screening looks for the human papillomavirus (HPV) which can cause abnormal cells on the cervix. It is not a test for cancer, it’s a test to help prevent cancer.

Following the COVID-19 outbreak, some NHS cervical screening invitations or appointments were rescheduled to a later date due to operational reasons and to minimise risk to patients. However, plans are being developed to ensure NHS Cervical Screening Programme services can operate fully as soon as is safe to do so. Screening invitations are already being sent out, the first going to higher-risk individuals or anyone who has had an appointment delayed due to the pandemic.

Dan Cottingham, Primary Care GP Lead at HCV CA said:

“As cervical cancer develops slowly in the majority of cases, delaying a routine test for a short time is highly unlikely to affect most individual health outcomes. However, if you are having symptoms such as:

• bleeding between periods, during or after sex, or after the menopause
• changes to vaginal discharge

“It is important to get clinical advice. It does not mean you have cervical cancer. Please call your GP, even if you have had a normal cervical screening test. Don’t wait until you have your next cervical screen.”

For further support and advice contact the Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust Helpline (0808 802 8000) or visit: www.jostrust.org.uk/information/coronavirus

This photo is of Lizzie stood outside Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust main tower block. There are windows surrounded by blue cladding and Lizzie is wearing a blue facemask, floral t-shirt and grey cardigan. She has short brown hair.

Living with cancer through Covid-19

By | Living with and Beyond Cancer

Mum of three, Lizzie Parker was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2019. Since her diagnosis, Lizzie has been using her own experience to raise awareness and help others by sharing tips and advice on how to “live your best life despite the forecast”. Here Lizzie shares her experience of living with cancer through the coronavirus pandemic:

As the world begins to think about returning to ‘normal’, as a cancer patient this seems like something only I could wish for and consider. ‘Normal life’ goes out the window the day you are told you have joined the cancer community and this is not something anyone ever thinks might happen to them, so when preparing for this world you find yourself in, it is something none of us are prepared for.

This photo is of Lizzie stood outside Hull University Teaching Hospitals Trust main tower block. There are windows surrounded by blue cladding and Lizzie is wearing a blue facemask, floral t-shirt and grey cardigan. She has short brown hair.

What I haven’t stopped thinking about is the hundreds and thousands of people who have been diagnosed in the last three months during this pandemic and how being hit with cancer diagnosis in the midst of minimal community support and with the global pandemic of fear, must be ever so frightening. Because they won’t even have found their ‘normal’ in the cancer community and the fear of infection mixed with treatment and recovery is terrifying.  However, there are positive stories.

“People are being treated and people are living with cancer through Covid-19.  I am living proof.”

My story through Covid-19 started with brain surgery on Monday 6 April.  First week of lock down!  What a way to begin!  It was expected but unexpected and that unfortunately is the world of cancer.  You think you are on a path and it can change instantly with no notice just like diagnosis, it comes out of nowhere!  Or maybe it didn’t. Maybe you knew something wasn’t right a long time ago and just ignored the symptoms.  Maybe you have symptoms right now but are putting it to the side because you fear entering a hospital or GP setting or perhaps you are fearing what they might say.

If you look at national statistics right now the probability of having cancer is much higher than having Covid-19.  But are you driven by statistics?  Unfortunately, as a society we let numbers rule us and not our heads and even less likely our common sense.  So when I got the phone call four days before to say, ‘You have 24 hours to decide Mrs P whether you are going forward with brain surgery on Monday at 7am, and I will ring you Sunday night to confirm that I am ready to see you 7am on the operating table’.  Bear in mind the world was shutting down that week and patients where coming in thick and fast. This potentially was a very daunting prospect.

What went through my mind? I needed the surgery. That was not up for negotiation.  Three months of living with this tumour could have a dire outcomes without surgery.  It was a mass and it was operable and the surgeon was positive it could come out successfully but obviously surgery comes with its own risks and then the added risk of infection.  I have been on a Therapeutic diet now for a while which sees my blood profile as being very positive so this made me more positive that my immune system was strong enough to cope.  If I contracted Covid-19 I wouldn’t avoid the hospital because that is the best place to be and there are plenty of other highly infectious viruses and diseases in society that one can catch in a community of people.

I have faith too and this is what I went with. Also with the knowledge that through treatment last year, when my bloods were pretty thin to say the least, and I needed transfusions, I didn’t avoid treatment once or entering the hospital environment then, and I was at much greater risk of infection last July with my lack of immunity or blood stability.  You are well looked after and they really are doing their best to keep you contained and everyone else.  In fact this year the environment was much better regarding contamination and infection.

This is a photo of Lizzie who is living with brain cancer during the Covid-19 pandemic. Lizzie is on a hospital bed and the image is of her shoulders and head. She is wearing a hospital gown, blue face mask and has a bandage around the top of her head. She is looking at the camera.

So I climbed my way onto the surgery table at 7am on Monday 6 April and I walked out of Hull Royal Infirmary on Tuesday 7 April and had tea with my kids at the table that evening just like ‘normal’!  Success again!  I couldn’t have any visitors while I was there, but I was fine with that and it was very surreal waking up after surgery to face masks but think of the positives.  I didn’t have to worry about any of my family being at risk and the visors etc just reminded me how much care the nurses are taking to ensure you are not at risk of infection.  They are not enjoying this, as it is not their natural bedside manner but they still continued to care as best they could in the circumstances. I couldn’t have asked for better care.

This is a photo of Lizzie who is wearing a green jumper and is sat in front of a window. The sun is shining through the window and is a photo frame and vase in the background. Lizzie is looking at the camera and smiling. She has a bandage around the top of her head.

Returning home to recover in lockdown has had its ups and downs.  The initial thing that was really hard to deal with was that we all felt that we were starting again.  Life was turned upside down the first time and we worked hard to find a new ‘normal’ and then again that got thrown up in the air.

The support that once was, had changed again. So with talking to friends and family we found our support network again because there are plenty of people who want to help.  The thing that I have learnt through this is that people can’t read minds and you have to ask for help! Once you ask, you really will find that people want to help you.  You just need to ask the right people.

So all in all I think I can say so far that I am living and recovering well with cancer through Covid-19 and it hasn’t been in any way that bad despite surgery right at the beginning.

My points to everyone in this piece are:

  If you have symptoms that you are concerned about then contact your GP surgery because cancer doesn’t disappear on its own and you are safer getting treated than not.  Time is of the essence in diagnosis.  Don’t sit on it.

Hospital admission is scary but read the positive stories.  Hundreds of people are entering hospitals everyday and coming out better for treatment.

If you or anyone you know has cancer and you want to do something to put yourself in the best possible position.  Research the best possible lifestyle and diet/nutrition for your condition.  Get your body in the best possible health and prepare your body for treatment.

Finally believe that you are going to be fine and even in the darkest hours have faith that you can do this.

If we could bottle positivity, it would be the best medicine on the shelf.

Lastly, If you felt that this post helped you in anyway follow my blog on Facebook GameChanger where I discuss the ins and outs of living through adversity in the most positive way possible.

“It’s about living your best life possible despite the forecast.”

Thank you to Lizzie for sharing her experience of living with cancer through Covid-19. If you would like to follow Lizzie on Facebook, please click here.

Photo of Lizzie, who is living with cancer through Covid-19. Lizzie is wearing a red t-shirt with Brain Tumour charity logo on it. She has short brown hair and is smiling with the sun shining in the top right hand side of the image.
Photo of computer screen displaying a gov.uk page with the title Guidance and shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

Updated shielding advice for the extremely vulnerable in England

By | Living with and Beyond Cancer | No Comments

The government has updated its guidance for people who are shielding taking into account that COVID-19 disease levels have decreased over the last few weeks.

Around 200,000 cancer patients who are shielding remain vulnerable and should continue to take precautions but can now leave their home if they wish, as long as they are able to maintain strict social distancing.

Doctors in England have identified specific medical conditions that, based on what we know about the virus so far, place some people at greatest risk of severe illness from coronavirus and the list of extremely vulnerable people includes people with specific cancers and those at certain points in their treatment.

If any of the following applies to you, please follow the updated advice on shielding (detailed below):

  • someone with cancer undergoing active chemotherapy
  • someone with lung cancer undergoing radical radiotherapy
  • someone with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma at any stage of treatment
  • someone having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • someone having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • someone who has had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or are still taking immunosuppression drugs

Shielding advice

Those classed as clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to take additional action to prevent exposure with the virus. If you’re clinically extremely vulnerable, you’re strongly advised to stay at home as much as possible and keep visits outside to a minimum (for instance once per day).

The updated guidelines are:

  1. If you wish to spend time outdoors (though not in other buildings, households, or enclosed spaces) you should take extra care to minimise contact with others by keeping 2 metres apart.
  2. If you choose to spend time outdoors, this can be with members of your own household. If you live alone, you can spend time outdoors with one person from another household (ideally the same person each time).
  3. You should stay alert when leaving home: washing your hands regularly, maintaining social distance and avoiding gatherings of any size.
  4. You should not attend any gatherings, including gatherings of friends and families in private spaces, for example, parties, weddings and religious services.
  5. You should strictly avoid contact with anyone who is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 (a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, your sense of taste or smell).

The Government is currently advising extremely vulnerable people to shield until 30 June 2020 and is regularly monitoring this position.

For more information on government-led guidance on shielding, click here.

If you’re currently shielding and are looking for support, click here for details on how local groups have adapted to be able continue supporting cancer patients and their families.

You can also view our Project Officer Zoe’s top tips for shielding below.

 

New Rapid Diagnostic Centre continues to assess patients during Covid-19 pandemic

By | Cancer Alliance, Diagnostics

A new service launched in January for patients with symptoms that are cause for concern but do not meet the criteria for urgent referral for cancer, has continued to assess patients despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

The new Rapid Diagnosis Centre (RDC) for suspected cancer is clinically led by James Turvill from Gastroenterology and James Haselden from Radiology.

James Turvill said: “When a patient goes to their GP with symptoms such as unexplained and unintentional weight loss, unexplained loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea, bloating or vague abdominal or unexpected or progressive pain, the GP often has a ‘gut feeling’ of a possible cancer diagnosis.

“Unfortunately, in the NHS system is there is no clear referral pathway for patients with serious non-specific but concerning symptoms unless patients have findings that meet the two week criteria for a site specific urgent referral pathway for cancer.

“The rapid diagnostic one stop clinic is an exciting breakthrough for the York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and fantastic news for patients who visit their GP with worrying symptoms.”

The early diagnosis initiative involves two Primary Care Networks consisting of 11 GP practices to test and refine the new pathway. Spencer Robinson, Improvement Lead for the rapid diagnosis centre, designed the new service.

Spencer said: “We are very proud to have developed this new cancer pathway from scratch and launched it on time.

“Unfortunately circumstances have changed and we have had to modify the service for a period of time in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. We are still accepting referrals but the ‘one stop approach’ is suspended due to limited access to endoscopy and CT scans.

“Patients are still being assessed and if they are emergency or a high risk are offered diagnostic tests followed by a video or telephone consultation with the RDC consultant regarding outcome and next steps.

A man photographed from the chest up, wearing a blue shirt, brown blazer, blue tie and black thick-framed glasses. He has some grey stubble and is standing in front of a brick wall that is slightly out of focus.

“Low risk patients are supported by the RDC Coordinator and RDC Advanced Nurse Practitioner via telephone with six weekly follow up telephone assessments to reassess their symptoms.”

The centre is supported by Cancer Care Coordinator, Laura Brett and Cancer Nurse Specialist Jo Clark.

Laura said: “The patients we have had through the pathway so far have found the one stop approach to be really valuable, even though it has been a long day for them. We are looking forward to being able to resume the full service. The most rewarding part of my role is getting to meet our patients and provide any support they need throughout the RDC pathway.”

Cancer Nurse Specialist Jo Clark has been working with patients with cancer for over ten years.

Jo said: “The RDC pathway is personalised, reduces unnecessary appointments and tests and improves delays in diagnosis. I have seen the effects that waiting for tests and results can have on patients so improving this part of the patients journey is such a positive step. Even though we are limited  by the current circumstances, we discuss and review the patient’s pathway frequently to make sure we are supporting  them the best way we can through this difficult journey.”

Mikki Golodnitski, Programme Lead for Diagnostics at Humber, Coast and Vale Cancer Alliance (HCV CA) has supported the development of RDCs at York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and said:

“Over the last 12 months, the HCV CA Diagnostic team have worked in collaboration with York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust to pilot a full RDC Pathway for patients with serious non-specific symptoms within Humber, Coast and Vale region.

“RDC pathways support the Alliance’s overarching ambition of achieving faster diagnosis for patients and we are delighted that the York RDC team have managed to effectively adapt their services in order to maintain its benefits to patients during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The Alliance continues to work with stakeholders in each locality to build on work that has already commenced to embed the RDC principles and pathways across the Humber, Coast and Vale region.”

To find out how Cancer Alliances are driving force for change, providing dedicated focus and capacity to deliver improvements in cancer outcomes locally, please click here.

Help us help you stay safe in hospital

By | Cancer Alliance

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.

A woman sitting at a desk in a waiting room. There's a computer in front of her and she's writing with her right hand, and holding a telephone to her ear with her left.

Pancreatic Cancer UK continues to offer support during COVID-19

By | Living with and Beyond Cancer | No Comments

Registered charity, Pancreatic Cancer UK is providing a range of support for those living with pancreatic cancer.

The charity is a useful resource for anyone affected by pancreatic cancer and is offering the following help during the pandemic.

Support Line

A team of pancreatic cancer specialist nurses are available to offer information and support to anyone affected by the disease and can answer concerns related to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Freephone 0808 801 0707 Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm. Or email nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk.

Expert information to order or download

Booklets and fact sheets, which have been reviewed by clinical experts, are available to order or download. The charity will regularly be adding new information about how people with pancreatic cancer can improve their wellbeing during the outbreak.

Discussion forum

Pancreatic Cancer UK’s online discussion forum is a supportive place where everyone affected by pancreatic cancer can be there for each other, any time of day or night. It is a place where you can discuss everything from how to navigate the healthcare system, to how to talk about cancer with your loved ones.

Nurses will be producing short video clips and blogs to help people access support and information. The forum can be accessed here.

Pancreatic Cancer during COVID-19 (PCC) Network

Pancreatic Cancer UK is developing a network which will aim to allow pancreatic cancer specialists to discuss and develop treatment and care pathways for patients with pancreatic cancer during the pandemic; develop and share consensus approaches; and allow clinicians to discuss specific, local issues with colleagues from across the country. It will support management planning for patients with pancreatic cancer and help the charity begin to create a database during the outbreak to inform future clinical decision making and clinical trials.

The below resources and support of the Network will be available throughout this time for you to access if and when you wish:

Virtual Meetings: attend/view virtual meetings to share and discuss the latest updates, approaches and challenges

Shared Folder: access the most up-to-date guidance notes around the treatment and care of pancreatic cancer in the UK during the pandemic

Newsletter: their newsletter will share a summary of the latest updates, documents, recorded webinars and any other useful information

Discussion Forum: the charity is looking into creating a secure forum for you to ask questions, share and collaborate with others

For access to any of the above, if you have any updates or information that would be useful for the wider community, or if there are any other ways Pancreatic Cancer UK can support you, please get in touch with the team.

Freephone 0808 801 0707 Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm. Or email nurse@pancreaticcancer.org.uk.

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