Statement from oncologists and haematologists (SACT CRG) 20th March 2020

Statement from oncologists and haematologists in Northern Ireland (20th March 2020) 

NICaN SACT Clinical Reference Group (CRG)

Delivery of Systemic Anti-Cancer Treatment.

 

As a community of caregivers for oncology and haematology patients in Northern Ireland we are well aware of the increased anxiety generated by the Covid 19 pandemic during what is already a very difficult time for you. Whilst disruption is inevitable, we wish to assure you that we are working very hard to maintain services in so far as possible. Our first priority is your safety. We know that Covid 19 is likely to be more severe in those with a cancer diagnosis. This is particularly so in older patients and those with additional medical conditions. As a result, many of our anti-cancer treatments which suppress the immune system and affect your general health may have significantly greater risk at this time.

At your next consultation, your doctor or nurse will discuss the benefits and risks of proceeding with treatment. They may suggest stopping treatment or making significant alterations to reduce the risk. Any decision about your treatment will be based on your individual circumstances and our ability to provide safe care in the weeks and months ahead. No decision about your treatment will be made without involving you in this. As time goes on we anticipate that additional pressure on the service will come from staff shortages. We are actively looking at novel ways to reduce the impact of this on cancer treatment however there will inevitably be disruption to our service over the next few weeks and months.

For further information on COVID 19, social distancing and support services please visit the NICaN COVID webpage

 

See also Government guidance on shielding and protecting extremely vulnerable persons from COVID-19.

See also  NICaN Covid-19 informationfor people affected by cancer.