Update on QVH and COVID-19

Friday 17th April 2020

Update on QVH and COVID-19

Queen Victoria Hospital has a unique role during the COVID-19 pandemic as a specialist cancer surgical centre for the South East.

A consequence of COVID-19 is that many hospitals do not currently have the capacity to treat cancer patients – but cancer treatment remains as vital as ever. Patients from across the whole of Sussex, Surrey and Kent who have been diagnosed with head and neck, breast and skin cancers can be referred by their consultant to our hospital for their surgery.

What about COVID-19?

There are extra screening and infection control processes in place to keep all of our patients safe at this difficult time. This includes temperature checking all patients as their arrive at the hospital, and if appropriate a CT chest scan and a swab test for COVID-19 prior to admission.

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.

Supporting trauma patients

We are continuing to provide urgent trauma treatment for both adults and children in our areas of specialism (maxillofacial, hands and eyes) and have rearranged how we work across our site to keep this stream of work separate from our screened cancer patients.

You can read here about the experience of one of our patients, John, whose thumb we saved.

Patients needing urgent non-cancer operations

Patients who need urgent non-cancer operations are being reviewed by a clinical panel, and QVH continues to carry out essential surgery in corneoplastics, maxillofacial and plastics where the panel agree it is safe to do so.

Virtual clinics

We have established ‘virtual clinics’ which mean we are now seeing patients through video, securely linked up to our systems for patient records, so that our doctors can diagnose and check on progress without patients having to visit our hospital site.

For some of our outpatient clinics, such as orthodontics, patients are receiving a telephone call from one of our clinicians in lieu of a face to face appointment, enabling them to stay at home but continue their treatment. Emergency appointments are possible where assessed as needed.

The role of QVH Charity

To show our support for our staff at this difficult time, QVH Charity, our hospital charity, is running a fundraising appeal. If you would like to support us please visit the Charity’s JustGiving page www.justgiving.com/campaign/supportqvhheroes.