As you will be aware, the NHS has come under great strain due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the non-urgent hospital and community services were ‘paused’ - both as a safety precaution and to allow us to deliver the urgent care necessary.
There are still measures in place which impact on the number of patients we are able to see and treat. If you are still waiting for your appointment, we appreciate that you may be disappointed and would like to reassure you that we will be in touch with you directly within the next three months with more information about when you may receive your appointment. If you have already received yours, please attend that appointment as planned.
Unless the clinician needs to see you to physically examine or observe you, all outpatient appointments will be carried out via telephone or video clinics. This will enable us to continue to prevent people making unnecessary trips to hospitals and community setting wherever possible.
If you need diagnostic tests such as scans, x-rays, blood tests, etc, you will still be required to attend for your appointment in person. Find out more about virtual appointments here.
If you are being admitted to hospital for a planned (non-emergency) operation, you, the people you live with and anyone in your support bubble may need to self-isolate before you go into hospital.
You may also be asked to complete a COVID-19 test within 72 hours before going to hospital. This will be arranged for you and you will be contacted with further details before your appointment.
If you are unable to isolate effectively or be tested before coming to hospital, your admission may be rescheduled. This will be determined by your care team using clinical judgement and in consultation with you. Our admissions team will give you all the information you need when booking you in.
Many people with cancer might be anxious about the impact of coronavirus on their treatment and care. Some people may also be worried about waiting for a referral for investigations.
The NHS is working hard to make sure that cancer treatments can continue in the best way possible. Your doctor will discuss what they think is the best option for you in the current situation.
If you are having cancer treatment, please continue with your treatment and care plan as agreed with your healthcare team. Your treatment may continue as planned or there may be some alterations which will be discussed with you. If for example, the risk of continuing is potentially higher than giving you a break from or delaying treatment, this may be recommended. Any decisions regarding your treatment will be made with you.
If you have a specific question about your treatment, you can ask your team.
Even during the pandemic, our maternity services are still open.
If you are pregnant, it is important that you still attend any antenatal appointments and scans, and continue to seek advice from your midwife or maternity team if you are worried about your health or the health of your unborn baby.
It is really important that women have a midwife with them when they are giving birth to ensure they and their baby are safe. Women can still choose to have a home birth, or give birth at our maternity units at Furness General Hospital, the Royal Lancaster Infirmary or Westmorland General Hospital.
Local people can be reassured that maternity and birthing services are separate to NHS services treating COVID-19 patients, so the risk of catching COVID-19 from these patients is minimal.