Cancer and coronavirus resources for healthcare professionals
On this page
- General information for health and care professionals about coronavirus
- Cancer treatment and coronavirus resources
- Cancer screening and coronavirus resources
- Other useful information
- Communicating with patients and colleagues
- Supporting your patients
- Additional coronavirus resources for health and care professionals
- How we can help
The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis developed quickly and national clinical guidance emerged from NICE, the NHS and professional bodies. However, as we move from the acute pandemic crisis into recovery with easing of lockdown, the landscape may change to involve lockdown in a different format, where localities are locked down due to a spike in cases, or even particular hospitals. As new information emerges about the disease and how to manage it, and any resurgence of a second wave or local spikes, Macmillan want to help health and social care professionals find relevant information and guidance related to cancer treatments within the changing coronavirus landscape. Therefore, we will continually update our information and resources to help you.
Here you will find links to general information about coronavirus across the 4 nations.
National Institute of Healthcare Excellence and other relevant Information
You will find links to professional organisations providing cancer type specific information related to the different types of treatment:
- systemic anti-cancer treatment
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 on their home page.
- NHS England: Speciality Guidance
- Scotland: framework for the recovery of cancer surgery and COVID-19
- Wales: Maintaining Essential Health Services during the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Northern Ireland: COVID-19 Guidance and Advice
Royal College of Surgeons
This also covers surgical specialities and the different UK nations.
England and Wales
- The Royal College of Surgeons: Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- The Royal College of Surgeons: Recovery of surgical services during and after COVID-19.
- The Royal College of Surgeons: Support in Northern Ireland
- Intercollegiate College of Surgeons (Cross Nations) Guidance.
Other Associations general and tumour specific
- British Association for Cancer Surgery (BASO)
- Urological cancers and surgery - British Association of Urological Surgeons
- Breast cancer and surgery - Association of Breast Surgery
- Gynaecology cancer and surgery - British Gynaecological Cancer Society (BGCS)
- Head and neck cancers and surgery - British Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons
- Colorectal cancer and surgery - Association of Coloproctology Great Britain and Ireland
- Skin cancer and surgery - British Association of Dermatologists and British Association for Dermatological Surgery
- Brain and CNS - British Society for Neurological Surgeons
- Upper gastrointestinal surgery - Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery Great Britain and Northern Ireland
- Lung cancer and thracic surgery - Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery
Systemic anti-cancer treatment
- NICE: COVID-19 rapid guideline: Delivery of systemic anti-cancer treatments
- NICE: Interim treatment change options during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Association of Physicians representing Medical Oncologists in the UK.
Haematology and Stem cell transplantation
- British Society for Haematology
- NICE's COVID-19 Rapid Guideline: haematopoietic stem cell transplantation
- Guidance for the Management of Acute Oncology Patients During the Coronavirus Pandemic
This expert consensus document was produced under the leadership of Dr Ernie Marshall for the Acute Oncology Advisory Group, with wide consultation from across the UK.
Here you will find links for information about changes to cancer screening programmes as a result of coronavirus.
Tumour site specific guidance
European Guidance across different cancer types
Here you will find a number of useful resources by cancer type including useful slide sets on ESMO recommendations for management during COVID-19:
Head and neck cancers
Other useful information
- BMJ Best Practice: Coronavirus Disease 2019
- RCR position on coronavirus (COVID-19) for clinical oncology
- COVID-19: Global radiation oncology’s targeted response for pandemic preparedness.
Managing clinical trials
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.
We have 10 top tips to support healthcare professionals with:
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are some digital resources to help with working remotely:
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:
- 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 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.
‘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 is an online fatigue management programme for people with cancer.
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:
- Registered nurses and AHPs deployed from a different clinical specialty
- Returning nurses
- Newly registered nurses and AHPs, or students opting into a revised programme structure
- Internationally trained nurses awaiting UK registration
- Independent sector nurses supporting the NHS
- Returning midwives
- Physical skills for nurses and AHPs working in mental health, learning disability and autism.
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.
See Cancer Prehabilitation and rehabilitation for information for:
- occupational therapists
- diagnostic and therapeutic radiographers
- speech and language therapists.