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Clinical Haematology

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Haematology services COVID-19 update

COVID-19 information for Clinical Haematology patients updated 23 December 2021.

The Omicron variant

For people at high risk from coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Omicron variant is a new variant of COVID-19. We do not know the impact it will have on patients with weakened immune systems who are at high risk of COVID-19 infection.

The Omicron variant is much more transmissible than previous variants. You, your family and friends should be aware that it will be much easier to catch and pass on COVID-19 than has previously been the case.

Protect yourself

Reduce social contact

The best way of reducing the chance of infection to minimise contact with other people. This will help keep you safe and reduce the risk of catching COVID-19. Think very carefully this winter about having close and/or prolonged contact indoors with other people.

If meeting others:

  • consider forming small 'bubbles' with family or friends and mix only with these people
  • other members of your bubble should avoid mixing with other people
  • ensure people do a rapid lateral flow test before you meet
  • meet people outside if possible
  • if you meet inside, allow plenty of space, and open doors and windows to let in fresh air
  • avoid crowded places.


Follow the advice you have been given on COVID-19 vaccination.

The people you live with should also be up-to-date with vaccinations. They should ensure they have had their second and/or booster dose.

Everyone aged 12 and over can book vaccination appointments now.

Wait for at least 14 days after you've had your second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before meeting with people.

Other measures

  • Wear a face covering in shops, in indoor spaces and wherever it is hard to stay away from other people.
  • Avoid non-essential use of public transport.
  • Work from home if you can.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day.
  • Make sure the people you live with do these things too.

Should I still ring Triage if I have a temperature of 37.5?

Yes. You should continue to follow the same instructions as you would normally about contacting Triage if you are worried about your health.

NHS Advice

The advice from the NHS England is on the NHS website.

Government advice is updated all the time so check the NHS website regularly.

If you are not well

If you have symptoms of coronavirus or feel unwell, contact Triage.

Tel: 01865 572192

We will ask you extra questions about your risk of exposure to coronavirus. We may ask you to come in for checks with the Triage team.

A change in smell or taste is listed as a symptom of coronavirus, but is also a common side effect of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Please speak to your Clinical Nurse Specialist if you are worried about this.

Your care at the Churchill Hospital

We want to reassure you that our hospital is a safe place to come for your care and treatment.

Please continue to attend if you are asked - we are doing all we can to keep our patients and staff safe.

The Churchill site is designated as a COVID-19-free area. People with COVID-19 are treated on other hospital sites.

Mask wearing and social distancing

All members of staff, patients and visitors are required to wear a mask at our hospitals all times:

COVID-19 safety rules


We continue to reduce the number of people coming to outpatient appointments, to help keep you safe. Most of our outpatient appointments are now conducted over the telephone or via video consultation instead of face to face.

Your telephone or video appointment will take place at around the same time as your scheduled face to face appointment.

In some cases, we will offer face to face outpatient appointments. We will contact you to let you know of any changes to your appointment.

Visiting restrictions

We have placed strict restrictions on people coming to our hospitals.

Please attend outpatient appointments alone. If someone gives you a lift to hospital for an appointment, they must not come into the hospital.

You may bring someone with you in exceptional circumstances - please speak to your nurse specialist about this.

Visitors are not permitted in the Day Treatment Unit. However, you may be able to bring someone with you if you are having your first course of treatment.

Anyone coming to our Outpatient Department, Day Treatment Unit or Radiotherapy Department must answer questions about any potential coronavirus symptoms.

For further details about visiting rules in our hospitals, please see:

Visitor FAQ

Lateral flow tests

For the safety of our patients and staff, please take a lateral flow test twice a week.

If you are coming in to our department, please take a lateral flow test the morning of your appointment. If you test positive, please contact the department and follow Government advice.

Your treatment

It is safe for you to come and have your treatment at our hospitals and we are maintaining our usual service for all our patients.

If there is any proposal to change your treatment schedule we will contact you. Continue to take all your usual medications unless your doctor or Nurse Specialist tells you not to.

Blood tests

Blood tests are performed Monday to Friday 8.00am - 4.00pm.

You do not need to make an appointment.

If you have to have a blood test, go to Car Park 4, which is the old entrance to the Churchill Hospital (see map at the link below). The attendant will give you a number and tell you where you can wait.

Churchill Hospital map (pdf)

We will direct you from the car park to the blood test facility.

Please bring your NHS number with you - you can find it on your clinic letters.

If you come by car, wait in your car while we assess you and until you are called in. If someone else has given you a lift, they must stay in the car. Wheelchairs are available.

If you are attending the Horton General Hospital, please come to Reception for directions.


The Satellite Pharmacy on the Churchill site and the Horton Pharmacy will continue to supply your medicines.

If you have to come to collect medicines, we will give you a slip to hand in: please wait in your car if you have one, or two metres away from other people, while your prescription is processed.

Have a mobile phone with you if possible: a member of the Pharmacy team will phone you when your medicines are ready to collect.

If you have to wait longer than 30 minutes we will phone to tell you the waiting time and give you the option to collect later.

How to protect yourself

We know that many of you will be worried about exposure to coronavirus. Many of our patients will have damage to their immune systems as a result of their illness or treatment and will need to take precautions to avoid infection.

Talk to your healthcare team if you are not sure about your immune system. The following steps will help to keep you safe.

'Clinically extremely vulnerable' people

Some people are considered 'clinically extremely vulnerable'.

This is because they have serious underlying health conditions that put them at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

This is particularly the case for people with a weakened immune system, including the following groups.

  • People having chemotherapy, or who've had chemotherapy in the last three months
  • People having immunotherapy or other antibody treatments for cancer
  • People having targeted cancer treatments that can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase or PARP inhibitors
  • People who had an autologous HSCT (using your own stem cells) within the last year*
  • People who had an allogeneic HSCT (using donor stem cells) within the last two years or who are still having immunosuppression drugs*
  • People with chronic graft versus host disease (GvHD)*
  • People with some types of blood cancer which affect the immune system, such as chronic leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma, even if no treatment is being given
  • People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections such as sickle cell disease

Please talk to your healthcare team if you are not sure about your immune system.

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

Getting support at home

Ask friends, family or a support network in your community to help you get food and medicines. Volunteer schemes are in place across the country to support local communities. Contact your local council for information about what is available in your area.

Vaccination for COVID-19

Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine - NHS website

We advise our patients to have a vaccination for COVID-19 when offered.

We do not know if the vaccines will be as effective in patients with blood cancer compared to other people, but any immunity gained would be beneficial.

Further information on vaccination for COVID-19

Mental health and wellbeing

For advice about taking care of your mental health while you are isolated at home, visit the NHS website:

Looking after your mental health -

Further information

The following websites provide information for different patient groups.

Last reviewed:23 December 2021