Haematology COVID-19 Resources

As a haematology patient you may have received one or more letters from sources such as the Government and us advising that you are at an increased risk of severe illness from the Coronavirus (also known as COVID-19).

Many of our haematology patients are at least moderately more vulnerable to this virus. This means that you are both at increased risk of getting the virus, and of having more severe symptoms from it than the general population.

The reason for this may relate to your underlying condition, its severity, previous treatment you may have had, how recently it was given and other health conditions.

We have attempted to identify our haematology patients who fall into a highly vulnerable category. These patients are advised to follow Government guidelines on very strict self-isolation called Shielding which includes, amongst other things, not leaving your house, minimise time with other household members, ideally sleep in another bed and use facilities separately.

The full guidance can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

For those who we would deem 'moderate risk’, we recommend stringently following social distancing guidelines which can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

Clinics

We are switching over to telephone clinics for the majority of our patients for the time being. Please assume that we will be contacting you by telephone rather than expecting you to attend in person.

If you feel you need a face-to-face consultation for any reason, please contact your consultant's secretary. Similarly if we feel a face-to-face consultation is needed we will contact you directly.

We will do our best to contact you during your expected clinic time, however, the time of the telephone consultation may not be at your specified clinic appointment time.

If you have not received a telephone consultation on the day of your clinic appointment please wait for 24 hours and then contact your consultant's secretary.

Treatments

We are regularly reviewing the risks and benefits of treatment. This may result in some treatments being postponed, stopped or changed to alternatives.

There are however some treatments that will continue as we feel the benefits outweigh the risks. We will endeavour to discuss any treatments and changes to treatment with you.

Prescriptions

To help in the collection of your prescriptions we would recommend you ask someone to collect your prescription from the hospital pharmacy if possible.

Our pharmacy services are currently attempting to increase their provision to deliver prescriptions to patients who have been asked to 'shield' and are not able to request a friend to collect the prescription on their behalf.

We are also trying to provide more medications to reduce the frequency of visits.

Blood tests

Blood tests can be an essential part of haematology treatment, but they can also put our patients at risk of exposure to COVID-19. We are reviewing the need for blood tests, and may issue more cycles of treatment than usual with fewer blood tests during this period. Inevitably, some blood tests will still be necessary.

These may be possible in the community at a local pharmacy or GP surgery or booked at one of the hospital sites in Coventry and Rugby (www.uhcw.nhs.uk/caring-for-you/your-outpatient-appointment/blood-tests).

A booked appointment will mean that you do not have to wait when you arrive for your blood test. If you are coming for a face to face appointment we can do your blood test in clinic when we see you. If none of these are possible please contact your consultant’s secretary and we will endeavour to find an alternative solution.

These are unprecedented times for everyone which we know will cause much anxiety and concern but we will work with you to support everyone through this.