General information for health and care professionals about coronavirus

The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis is developing quickly. As a result, national clinical guidance will change as new information emerges about the disease and how to manage it. To help health and social care professionals find relevant guidance around coronavirus, cancer treatments and its management, we have pulled together some helpful resources.

Here you will find links to general information about coronavirus across the 4 nations.

Scotland

Cancer treatment and coronavirus resources

Here you will find links to organisations that provide information about the effect coronavirus is having on specific types of cancer and cancer treatments including:

  • surgery
  • systemic anti-cancer treatment
  • radiotherapy.

You will find that many of the links take you to the home or landing page of the professional organisation. You can then find direct links to coronavirus specific information or search for it. You may have to use your professional registration to register and sign up if you are not already a member.

Acute oncology

Breast cancer

Cancer screening and coronavirus resources

Here you will find links for information about changes to cancer screening programmes as a result of coronavirus.

Communicating with patients and colleagues

We have brought together key resources and information that will help you with communication during the coronavirus pandemic. This includes:

  • having difficult conversations
  • remote appointments and consultations
  • communication through PPE
  • example letter templates.

Where we have been able to identify examples of emerging good practice, we have included these.

Having difficult conversations

Navigating patient care during the coronavirus pandemic is challenging. Conversations may have to be shorter, take place through personal protective equipment (PPE) and perhaps not face-to-face. We have more information about communication and difficult conversations during the coronavirus crisis.

Here are some other resources to help with difficult conversations:

Carrying out appointments remotely

When it comes to appointments, advice across the UK is to provide them remotely until it is safe to return to normal practice. We understand this brings new challenges for cancer appointments, particularly if you are sharing news about a diagnosis or a change to treatment. You may also find that remote appointments take more time, or that there is the need for follow-up calls to check understanding and allow for questions.

It may be helpful to share the benefits of a remote appointment with your patient. Remote appointments allow your patient to be comfortable at home, with the potential of someone being with them, something that would not be able to happen right now if the appointment was to take place face-to-face.

NHS Digital

NHS Digital are making Microsoft Teams software available to all NHS organisations for messaging and video conferencing during the coronavirus crisis to help support remote clinic appointments.

If you are an NHS professional or contractor who needs help accessing any of these services, you can email: accesslogistics.hub@nhs.net.

Here are some digital resources to help with working remotely:

Supporting your patients

We want to help you support your patients during the coronavirus crisis. Here are some resources you may find helpful to share with your patients.

Macmillan's coronavirus information for people affected by cancer

We have a dedicated coronavirus section of our website for people affected by cancer.

This includes information about:

  • shielding
  • staying well at home
  • financial support
  • cancer treatment.

There is also information to support people living with someone who has cancer.

Prehabilitation and rehabilitation

Rehabilitation and prehabilitation services can support cancer patients during the coronavirus pandemic. They can help patients to improve their fitness, nutrition and emotional well-being while they are waiting for treatment, as well as during and after treatment.

We have information for patients to help them prepare for treatment at home, as well as a new programme for patients called SafeFit (see below).

SafeFit 

SafeFit is a free remote service for anyone in the UK with suspicion of, or confirmed diagnosis of cancer. Cancer exercise specialists offer advice, support and resources to maintain and improve physical and mental well-being.

iHOPE

‘Help Overcome Problems Effectively’ (HOPE) is an online self-management course to help people who have had or have cancer to move on with their lives.

For more information about dates and the sign up process for please click here.

You may wish to use the following template for your letter/email to potential participants.

Macmillan RESTORE

Macmillan RESTORE is an online fatigue management programme for people with cancer.

Additional coronavirus resources for health and care professionals

Health Education England Learning Pathways

Health Education England e-Learning for Healthcare (HEE e-LfH) has recently added additional learning pathways for nurses, midwives and AHPs to an e-learning programme designed to help the health and care workforce respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

The programme ‘Resources for Nurses, Midwives and AHPs Returning to work, being Redeployed or Up-Skilled’ includes specific learning pathways for the following groups:

The programme is free to access for the UK health and care workforce, without the need to register. However, if staff wish to record their learning activity against their user account, they will need to either log in or register here.

If you have any questions about the resources, please contact Agnes.Hibbert@hee.nhs.uk.

Visit the HEE website for wider updates on how HEE is supporting nursing and midwifery around the coronavirus pandemic.

AHPs

See Cancer Prehabilitation and rehabilitation for information for:

  • dieticians
  • physiotherapists
  • occupational therapists
  • diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers
  • speech and language therapists.

How we can help

Macmillan Cancer Support Line
The Macmillan Support Line offers confidential support to people living with cancer and their loved ones. If you need to talk, we'll listen.
0808 808 00 00
7 days a week, 8am - 8pm
Email us
Get in touch via this form
Chat online
7 days a week, 8am - 8pm
Online Community
An anonymous network of people affected by cancer which is free to join. Share experiences, ask questions and talk to people who understand.
Help in your area
What's going on near you? Find out about support groups, where to get information and how to get involved with Macmillan where you live.