Information for cancer patients during COVID-19

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. As a specialist surgical centre we have introduced infection prevention and control measures to minimise the risk of COVID-19 to keep our patients and staff safe.

We are asking all patients coming to us for surgery to self-isolate for 14 days before being admitted to Queen Victoria Hospital (QVH). This means you cannot leave the house under any circumstances other than an emergency or urgent medical treatment. This includes not attending any shops, doing any physical activity outside of your property boundary, and not meeting in person or having physical contact with anyone outside of your immediate household.

  • You will need to remain shielded within your household from anybody who is not following this strict self-isolation.
  • During this 14 day period, if you, or someone in your household develop any symptoms of COVID-19 which may include; a temperature of 37.8 degrees or higher, a persistent cough, or loss of taste and smell, you must contact the Surgical Team Scheduler as soon as possible and do not attend the hospital for your planned admission as this will need to be re-booked. The details will be on your admission letter.
  • Prior to your admission you will be contacted by telephone and given a day and time to attend QVH at least 72 hours before the date of your admission. When you come you will have swabs taken sent from your throat and nose to test for COVID-19. If you do not have your own transport to attend this appointment please contact the QVH Surgical Team Scheduler immediately to arrange an alternative means of transportation. Please do not use public transport.
  • The results of this screen will be sent to your consultant and a member of the hospital team will contact you with your result. Please ensure you have had this confirmation from QVH prior to leaving home for your admission.
  • If the result of the COVID-19 swab is positive your consultant will discuss with you what you should do next. This includes continuing to self-isolate for a minimum of 14 or more days until you are clinically well. Once you are clinically well your admission will be rescheduled and you will require a further throat and nose test for COVID-19 before this planned date. A member of the QVH team will be in touch to arrange this.
  • All patients and visitors coming to the hospital will need to wear a face covering. You can read more here.
  • Our updated guidance for visiting patients on our wards can be found here.

Where practical you must self-isolate for a further 14 days following discharge after your surgery.

This short film explains more about the infection prevention and control measures we have put in place to protect our patients and staff:

Will my procedure be postponed?

Due to ongoing COVID-19 situation, your surgery may be postponed prior to, or on the day of your booked surgery. Should this be necessary a member of the QVH team will be in contact as soon as possible and discuss next steps.

What it's like to have cancer surgery during the pandemic

What it's like to have cancer surgery during the pandemic

Yvonne explains what it was like to have surgery for breast cancer at QVH

Patient information leaflets