We want you to know that, despite the unprecedented global situation regarding Covid-19, we are still available at Heartburn Cancer UK if you have any questions or concerns about Barrett's oesophagus or oesophageal cancer.  As per the government advice regarding social distancing we are working remotely, however, we can still be contacted by e mail [email protected]

If you prefer to phone our staff are able to take a message and we can call you back as soon as we are able. Our number is 01256 338668.

Changes in government advice for those who are clinically vulnerable 

It has been announced by the Department of Health and Social Care that advice to the clinically extremely vulnerable to shield ceases from Thursday 1 April as virus infection rates continue to fall.  People on a shielded patient list will receive letters with updated guidance on steps they can take to reduce their risk.

In line with the government’s ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ roadmap published last month, those on the shielded patient list can begin to follow the national restrictions alongside the rest of the population, but are still advised to take extra precautions to keep themselves safe from COVID-19.

These restrictions: 

  • require people to stay at home, except for permitted reasons
  • prevent people gathering with those they do not live with, except for permitted reasons
  • close certain businesses and venues

There is additional guidance for clinically extremely vulnerable people available on the government website which is updated regularly.

COVID-19 Vaccination

More than 9 in 10 clinically extremely vulnerable people have been vaccinated with a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, in line with the priority ordering set by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). You will be contacted by the NHS with more information on when and how you will be invited to get the vaccine.

Recent updates to guidance mean that people who are planned to start or are undergoing chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatments will now be included in priority group 4.  These patients can now be recommended for COVID-19 vaccination prior to their treatment where it is deemed clinically safe to do so. People whose level of risk is about to increase – such as those waiting for planned cancer surgery – may also be offered the vaccine. 

Clinicians may advise their patients that they should be vaccinated - ideally at least two weeks before they start treatment - however decisions will always be taken based on the case of the individual patient, taking into account their current health, their likelihood of exposure to the virus and the risk to their health from COVID-19. Clinically urgent cancer treatment should not be delayed by vaccination.

For information about Local protection levels and those who were previously asked to shield in Scotland there is information on NHS inform and for those in Wales see the Welsh government website.

It is essential to remember that, if you have any questions about your care at this time you should speak to your GP or medical team.

Government advice is that people in the clinically extremely vulnerable group should continue to access the NHS services they need during this time. This may be delivered in a different way or in a different place than you are used to, for example via an online consultation, but if you do need to go to hospital or attend another health facility for planned care, extra planning and protection will be put in place

At this difficult time we continue to work at HCUK to raise awareness of the importance of recognising and acting upon common symptoms which could be indicators of oesophageal cancer.  If you are able to donate to assist our work and ensure that, even during the crisis caused by Covid-19, we can continue to raise awareness we would be extremely grateful.

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