1 Communicating with patients and minimising risk

1 Communicating with patients and minimising risk

1.1 Communicate with patients, their families and carers and support their mental wellbeing, signposting to charities and support groups (including NHS volunteers) where available, to help alleviate any anxiety and fear they may have about COVID‑19.

1.2 Minimise face-to-face contact by:

  • offering telephone or video consultations whenever possible

  • cutting non-essential face-to-face follow up

  • using alternative ways of delivering medicines, such as postal services, NHS volunteers, or drive-through pick-up points

  • coordinating access to blood tests for post-transplant investigations.

1.3 Ask patients to attend appointments with limited family or carers in line with the hospital policy, or alone if they can, to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the infection. Families and carers who do not physically attend should still be involved in appointments (using telephone or video whenever possible) to ensure the patient is fully supported. [amended 29 July 2020]

1.4 Before patients attend the transplant centre, tell them about the measures in place to keep them safe, as well as any steps they need to take. [29 July 2020]

1.5 Minimise time in the waiting area by:

  • careful scheduling

  • encouraging patients not to arrive early

  • texting patients when you are ready to see them, so that they can wait in their car, for example.

1.6 When patients with known or suspected COVID‑19 have been identified, follow appropriate UK government guidance on infection prevention and control. This includes recommendations on patient transfers, transport and options for outpatient settings.

1.7 All healthcare workers involved in receiving, assessing and caring for patients who have known or suspected COVID‑19 should follow UK government guidance on infection prevention and control. This contains information on using personal protective equipment (PPE), including visual and quick guides for putting on and taking off PPE.

1.8 Refer to the British Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation and Cellular Therapy Vaccination Sub-Committee (BSBMTCT-VSC) guidance on vaccination for patients who have had haemopoietic stem cell transplantation. [10 February 2021]