Queen Victoria Hospital becomes designated cancer centre for South East during COVID-19 pandemic

Monday 6th April 2020

Queen Victoria Hospital becomes designated cancer centre for South East during COVID-19 pandemic

It is important that patients with high risk cancers continue to receive appropriate timely treatment where possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH) already treats patients from across Kent, Surrey and Sussex for skin cancer, and head and neck cancer, and provides microvascular reconstruction services for breast cancer patients following, or in association with, mastectomy.

With its services recognised, both regionally and nationally, for the specialist expertise offered, QVH has become a surgical centre for head and neck, breast and skin cancers for patients from across Kent, Surrey, Sussex.

What does this mean for patients?
Patients with head and neck, skin and breast cancer continue to be cared for by their local multidisciplinary team (MDT) and when surgery is considered appropriate they will be referred to QVH for this.

Patients will be tested 48 hours before surgery to ensure they are virus free and will then self-isolate in advance of surgery.

Mastectomy (surgical removal of breast tissue to treat cancer) procedures will be completed by the patient’s own surgeon from other south east hospitals carrying out these operations at QVH.

Head and neck cancer surgery continues to be carried out at QVH where the MDT consider surgery is in the patient’s best interests. These patients are sometimes very unwell and often need two or three nights in critical care after surgery, so these operations are carefully planned around the availability of critical care support.

Skin cancer is usually treated with local anaesthetic with no need for an overnight hospital stay.

As well as treating these cancer patients the hospital will maintain its trauma service which provides urgent treatment for patients referred with injuries to the hand, jaw or eye.

Watch a short film explaining more including what a patient thinks.

Worried you may have cancer?
If you are worried you might have signs of cancer please contact your GP practice in the first instance. Your GP will be able to arrange for you to get a diagnosis and treatment whether it is a cancerous or non-cancerous condition. If you are already undergoing cancer treatment and are waiting for surgery, your cancer team will be in touch about your treatment plan. If QVH is the best place for you to have surgery your cancer team will refer you to us. Otherwise they will find you an alternative.

For more information contact the QVH Press Office on 01342 414508