UK Clinician information: 9th April

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, I wanted to keep you up to date on our treatment status, centre preparedness and business continuity plans. Treatment continues as usual and we are prepared to treat all patients without delay.

Safety and testing

GenesisCare remains committed to ensuring that cancer patients can continue to receive the care they need in our centres. All our centres are operating as usual and we are continuing to treat patients without delay. We are working with referring doctors to adjust patient treatment dates and protocols only for those most at risk patients.

GenesisCare continues to be a safe place for patients to receive treatment. We have robust screening processes in place for patients, staff and doctors to protect them and to enable treatment to continue. Our staff are equipped with the necessary PPE and we have sufficient stock to meet our treatment needs.

We will undertake a pilot in two of our centres to extend testing to our, staff, patients and our clinicians. The pilot will commence shortly after Easter and once procedures are established we will roll out to all centres. We will keep you informed of when patient testing will begin, the exact process we will follow and your expert involvement in the decision to treat.

We are continually reviewing our approach and pro-actively updating to respond to the science, official guidance and GenesisCare’s global policy.

Patient treatment options

We are aware that as the spread of coronavirus escalates and pressure builds in the NHS, some patient’s cancer treatment may be delayed or deferred. We encourage you to continue to refer your private patients to GenesisCare and we will arrange appointments,planning and treatment in a timely manner. We are aware several surgical procedures are being rationed or postponed in the NHS to understandably manage capacity. Now more than ever we need to support the NHS to manage scarce resources. Please ensure MDT treatment options include MRLinac as a non-invasive alternative for radical treatment including lung, liver,pancreatic and prostate patients who may be appropriate for MRLinac protocol. Please contact your local Centre Leader or Referrer Engagement Manager to get your patients access to this treatment option.

Patients will naturally feel anxious during this period about whether their treatment will carry on or not and they are asked to make potentially life-saving decisions. We are here to support your patients accessing treatment for breast cancer and prostate cancer with standard or hypofractionated regimes, in a sterile environment. We encourage you to consider life-prolonging palliativet herapies such as SABR for oligometastatic disease and radiotherapy regimes for unresectable tumours such as pancreatic cancer or to delay surgery as in the case of rectal cancer.

A reminder that our private transport option for those patients that require it also helps limit the risk of infection.Our contracted drivers are following strict screening and hygiene processes in response to our guidance.

Finally, we are continuing to support our patients by offering consultations with Penny BrohnUK, wellbeing consultants remotely who are trained to help cancer patients get through their treatment and the challenges faced during the pandemic.

One stop clinics

In order to ensure patients are able to quickly access the diagnostic tests and treatment they need, we are continuing to run One Stop clinics for breast and prostate patients in our Maidstone, Milton Keynes,Oxford and Windsor centres. Cambridge One-Stop clinics will go-live in April and Windsor Breast clinics will begin in May.

Private and NHS patients

Our primary focus continues to be providing a safe and secure environment for our private patients and we are working closely with the private medical insurance companies to ensure streamlined pathways and adequate provision is available in every centre.

We are also working on ways to support NHS patients, as part of the Independent Healthcare Providers Network, of which we are a member. You may have read media coverage yesterday that GenesisCare, together with 2 other private providers, have agreed a deal to treat 20,000 NHS patients, this report is incorrect.Whilst we are ready to support NHS England, no deal has been agreed. NHS England will determine how GenesisCare and other private providers can best support the health system and remain ready to provide cancer care where once this important evaluation has been completed.

Easter bank holiday weekend

Over the Easter bank holiday weekend our centres will remain open to continue to treat patients, as follows:

  • Friday 10th April – treating all radiotherapy patientsas normal
  • Monday 13th April – CAT 1 patients who cannot have a double fraction on Tuesday e.g. dose>2.2Gy /#

As always please reach out to Penny or myself should you have any issues or questions you would like to discuss.

 

James McArthur

General Manager – UK

 

Penny Kechagioglou

Chief Medical Officer – UK

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