Maintaining a safe environment
GenesisCare remains committed to ensuring that cancer patients can continue to safely receive the care they need in our centres. Currently all of our centres and clinics are operating without delay.
To ensure we can continue to provide the essential care that our patients need, we have robust measures in place to protect our patients and staff. We are following the advice and guidance being issued by Public Health England to all healthcare providers and updating our plan in line with any changes or updates.
We are screening patients, companions and visitors for symptoms with a phone assessment and in-centre questionnaire on arrival. Prior to attending any GenesisCare centre, all patients and visitors will receive a telephone call from a member of the GenesisCare team who will undertake a screening questionnaire.
In the event we are unable to contact an individual prior to attendance at the centre, we ask that all patients and visitors complete a screening questionnaire in the centre on arrival. Please follow the government guidance closely and do not come into a centre if you or anyone in your household have the following symptoms:
- A high temperature – including feeling hot to touch on your chest or back
- A new, continuous cough – for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes within 24 hours (or a worse cough than usual if you normally have a cough)
Please notify the centre by phone if your circumstances change before or during treatment. Your care plan will be discussed with your consultant to ensure we can continue your care in the safest way.
On arrival to our centres, all visitors, including staff and patients, will be asked to wash their hands or use alcohol hand rub.
We use a non-touch infrared forehead thermometer to record your temperature on arrival. If your temperature is less than 37.8◦C, you will be asked to complete screening questionnaire. If your temperature is greater than 37.8◦C but you are feeling well, you will be asked to go home and self-isolate for seven days.
If you have a high temperate and are unwell, you will be moved to a dedicated isolation area and given a waterproof surgical face mask. We have processes in place to arrange appropriate onward care as needed.
We are committed to keeping our centres safe by providing testing for all our patients and clinical teams. All patients and staff who come into one of our centres will be tested.
Testing will be done in the form of a nasal and throat swab in our centre. You can have a kit sent home if preferred, and we’ll arrange a courier service to collect it and take it to the lab at our cost. The swabs will catch any small samples of viral DNA which will then be multiplied and analysed in a lab through a method called ‘reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction’ (RT-PCR).
We’ll soon be introducing Validated Antibody (Ab) testing to complement the swab test, for all patients and staff. This is a simple blood test that will detect any antibodies, the proteins of your immune system that have recently been produced in response to a viral infection. The protocol for antibody testing is currently under review and will start once approved.
If you don’t have virus symptoms and you’re receiving treatment at one of our centres, you may need to be tested more than once during your treatment:
- Chemotherapy – you’ll be tested at least six days before each chemotherapy cycle. Depending on your chemotherapy schedule, you’ll be tested weekly or once every three weeks
- Haematology and diagnostics – your testing will be similar to the chemotherapy protocol and your doctor will explain this to you in more detail
- Radiotherapy – you’ll be tested before your first fraction of treatment. You may need to be tested again midway through your treatment course if your radiotherapy schedule is longer than three weeks
If you are symptomatic, we’ll arrange a swab test that you can complete at home, you should self-isolate until the test results are back. If your test results are positive, you’ll be required to self-isolate for a minimum of seven days. During this time we’ll discuss your care plan with your consultant to ensure we can resume your care in the safest possible way.
All other visitors and carers are being asked not to attend our centres, unless required for patient safety.
Providing safe and clean facilities remains a key focus, and we have increased the frequency of cleaning rounds including in high use areas such as waiting rooms, nursing stations and planning rooms.
Our staff will be following government and hospital guidelines to reduce the risks of spreading the virus to patients.
- All staff will wear a standard surgical mask within the centre and will adhere to social distancing where they are not required to be in close contact in order to deliver clinical care
- All clinical staff such as radiographers, nurses and exercise leads will wear a surgical mask, gloves and an apron whilst they carry out your care. This is to maintain the safety of our service offering to you as patients
- Reception and administration staff may also wear surgical masks when in the centre and have been instructed to practice physical distancing where possible.
All employees and visitors are asked to practice increased vigilance with hygiene and infection control, with hand sanitizer available throughout our centres, hand washing guides displayed and other reminder notices in centres.
Telehealth is the use of videoconferencing (live video on computer) for appointments with your consultant when they are at a different location to you. You may have seen videoconferencing used on television when the host of a show is interviewing a guest overseas.
Your telehealth appointment will be private and confidential. The image and sound are transferred in an encrypted form so that your appointment is completely confidential. A six digit password will be provided to you which you will also need to use to connect to the consultation. This offers an additional layer of security to the consultation. Please ensure you have this password given to you by either your doctor or the admin team.
GenesisCare has adopted Telehealth measures to provide a means to which we can support ongoing provision of services and consultations for all patients and referrers. Our commitment to this will evolve as we further develop the secure access and technology, and our focus continues to be ensuring the best possible outcomes for all our patients.
GenesisCare has an emergency response plan in place which we will activate if a patient and/or employee comes into contact with the virus.