Update on appointments and consultations
Last week Cancer Research UK produced some fairly alarming figures that about 2.4 million people in the UK were waiting for cancer screening, treatment or tests as a result of the disruption during lockdown.
The cancer charity estimates that 2.1 million people have missed out on screening and almost 300,000 with suspected symptoms have not been referred for hospital tests.
I am getting in touch because I want to reassure patients that it is as safe as it can be for them to visit clinics and hospitals get the vital treatment they need or to have check-up consultations.
I would even go as far as to say that they are probably more at risk if they ignore potential symptoms or fail to follow through on referrals to a specialist.
NHS and private hospitals are open for non-COVID patients and they have gone to rigorous lengths to reduce risks of infection.
Wherever possible I am continuing to conduct consultations by phone or video conference.
However if a patient wishes to see me or I believe it is necessary to see them, the consultation will be conducted adhering to strict social distancing.
At the Harley Street Clinic, I am conducting in-person consultations on Tuesday mornings, and phone or video consultations on Friday mornings. This will be the case until at least September.
We are also adopting the latest guidance announced by Health Secretary Matt Hancock that hospital visitors and outpatients must wear face coverings, and staff must wear surgical masks. This is due to come into effect from June 15th.
The Harley Street Clinic and The Royal Marsden Hospital will both be in a position to provide masks to patients if needed.
We have also put in place the most stringent and safe procedures for blood tests and Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) endoscopy examinations at both hospitals with me in full PPE of face-mask and visor, apron and gloves.
Please also note also that the walk-in phlebotomy service at the Harley Street Clinic (HSC) is currently unavailable and patients will need to call the nursing team 0207 299 0081 or 0207 299 0082 to book an appointment to have their bloods taken.
Currently the imaging department at HSC is not allowing the booking of routine follow-up imaging for our patients and I will let you know as and when this changes.
Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me or my team if you wish to discuss your treatment or any of these points. These are unique and challenging times, but it is important that patients do not go without the treatment, advice or help they need.
For the Harley Street Clinic, please contact Elizabeth Nartey, Medical PA, on 0207 126 7077 or email: [email protected]