Faculty of Clinical Oncology position on COVID-19: 17 March 2020

Tuesday 17 March 2020

This statement has been archived. 

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The RCR recognises the work that all departments are doing to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 for staff and patients and to continue to provide safe cancer treatments. Knowledge and advice are changing rapidly and the situation is very likely to get worse before it improves. All clinicians need to work together to support each other, our teams and our patients in this time of great uncertainty.

Services are very likely to need to depart from established treatment pathways and protocols. There have been several discussion threads on our clinical oncology forums and on social media about potential valid changes and the evidence base to support them. The RCR will work to collate these resources so that they can be shared widely, contributed to and discussed. Please share your documents via the clinical oncology (COVID-19) discussion forum. We will add links to relevant documents on the COVID-19 resources section of the website in the coming days.

The statement below posted on 13 March remains current. We would advise you to:

  • Review the NHS-E guidance on treatment of cancer patients (PDF) 
  • Discuss and agree proposed changes to current treatment pathways with your cancer multidisciplinary teams. Consider possible changes to diagnostic and surgical services in planning cancer treatment.
  • Discuss with the patient any change to an individual treatment plan and the reason for that change. Document these discussions.
  • Discuss a treatment escalation plan with every patient. Record this in the patient record and ensure the patient and other healthcare professionals have access to it.

We will review this advice on a regular basis.

Links from the RCR website to external sources are provided for information only and do not constitute endorsement or approval. The RCR is not responsible for the content of external websites or material. 

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