GP information: COVID-19 oncology update

During the COVID-19 outbreak, we know that you’ll be concerned about your patients, especially those with cancer or with symptoms that could indicate cancer. Therefore, we want to reassure you that all of our 14 specialist cancer centres remain open for diagnostics, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. We are continuing chemotherapy treatments following NHS guidelines and have modified clinical protocols for all radiotherapy treatments based on advice from the Royal College of Radiologists.

To ensure that symptomatic patients have rapid access to diagnostics, we are increasing access to our services and hope these will reduce pressure within the NHS. In particular, our One Stop Breast Clinics are currently running at Maidstone and Milton Keynes and our Rapid Access Urology Clinics are currently running at Maidstone, Milton Keynes, Oxford and Windsor. Both clinics will also soon be operational in Cambridge.

Our diagnostic services also include imaging modalities such as 1.5T and 3T MRI, CT and ultrasound, and appointments are usually available within 24 hours. We are recognised by all private medical insurers, including Bupa, AXA PPP, Aviva and Vitality.

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A safe environment

NHS England has clearly stated that cancer services need to continue to deliver good care while recognising patient vulnerabilities and risk assessing on a regular basis. This is consistent with our ongoing commitment to care.

GenesisCare is well suited to treating patients during a pandemic situation as we typically operate stand-alone outpatient clinics in low footfall environments. We have implemented robust infection control measures to maintain the safest clean environment possible for patients and the staff who care for them. These include:

  • Pre-visit screening for all visitors and temperature checks on arrival
  • All staff are fully equipped with appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • Consultations conducted via our Telehealth platform (secure video conferencing), wherever possible
  • Additional cleaning and reinforcing hygiene protocols
  • Remote treatment planning
  • Private transport to and from the centre, where required

Governance and MDTs

During the COVID-19 outbreak, all patient referrals for new protocols are being reviewed by our clinical reference groups and clinical advisory teams to ensure eligibility criteria are met. This includes all stereotactic ablative radiotherapy referrals, where shorter treatment schedules (hypofractionation) mean fewer visits to the centre.

We have rolled out our new electronic MDT platform to ensure that treatment plans for all cancer patients are fully reviewed by an expert team via GDPR-compliant decision tracking software.

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Alternatively if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call us on the number above.

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