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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Clinical Haematology

Coronavirus / COVID-19

If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, do not come to our hospitals. Follow the national advice and stay at home for seven days.

Important information about our services and restrictions on visiting our hospitals can be found in the COVID-19 section.

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Haematology services COVID-19 update

COVID-19 information for Clinical Haematology patients

What to do 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.

Who is at risk?

Serious underlying health conditions put people 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 from NICE April 2020

Keeping safe and 'shielding'

Shielding is a practice used to protect extremely vulnerable people from coming into contact with coronavirus.

See the website below for full guidance:

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

Getting support

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.

In addition to local support, the Government is providing support for people who are extremely vulnerable:

Get coronavirus support as a clinically extremely vulnerable person

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 - nhs.uk

Changes to our service

Appointments

Most outpatient appointments will be conducted over the telephone instead of face to face. We will contact you to let you know if your appointment has been changed. You will be telephoned at around the same time as your scheduled face to face appointment.

In some cases, face to face appointments in the Outpatients department will be necessary.

Visiting restrictions

We have placed strict restrictions on people coming to the Churchill Hospital.

No visitors are permitted on any wards at our hospitals with very few exceptions: this includes the Day Treatment Unit.

If someone gives you a lift to hospital for an appointment, they must not come into the hospital. If this person is essential in supporting and caring for you, then they may attend for the consultation.

We are asking all people who come to the hospital to answer questions about their risk of coronavirus and their symptoms before they are permitted to enter the Outpatient department.

Your treatment

We are doing our best to maintain our service and your care and wellbeing are our top priority. We will contact you if there is any proposal to change your treatment schedule. In some cases, your treatment might be delayed.

Continue to take all your usual medications unless your doctor or specialist nurse tells you not to.

Blood tests

If you have to attend for a blood test, go to Car Park 4, which is the old entrance to the Churchill Hospital. We will direct you from the car park to the blood test facility.

Churchill Hospital map (pdf)

The service will run Monday to Friday 8.00am - 3.00pm.

We will screen you on arrival and direct you to the phlebotomy area. Please bring any blood cards with you. You can come when you like between these times, but you may need to wait at peak times. If someone drives you to hospital for your blood test, they must stay in the car. Wheelchairs will be available should you need one.

Pharmacy

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, 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 or have a medication delivery through City Sprint courier.

If you are having telephone appointments, a City Sprint courier will deliver your prescription medicines. Healthcare at Home deliveries will not change.

Further information

The following websites provide information for different patient groups.