Leukaemia Care statement regarding Coronavirus – COVID-19

Statement from Leukaemia Care regarding Coronavirus - COVID-19

LAST UPDATED: 26/3/2020

As a charity we have been monitoring the COVID-19 situation very closely. We know you must have many concerns and will try our best to address them. Now more than ever, we need to keep in touch and support each other. Where possible and where it doesn’t present a risk to health, we will continue to provide our services or adapt existing ones.

We have taken the decision to cancel all face to face events in March, April, May and June. This includes our patient information days, support groups and patient panel meetings. Instead we will be using technology to hold these events virtually wherever possible. We will hold shorter webinars instead of whole day events and use video or teleconference to arrange virtual meetings rather than in person support groups.

For people who may do not have access to or may not be confident in their use of technology our other services remain operational including our freephone helpline on 08088 010 444, website, online forum and Facebook groups.

We will continue to monitor the situation for events that are taking place after June and will keep everyone updated.

Monica Izmajlowicz, Chief Operating Officer

. . . . . .

Leukaemia Care is aware that many patients and their families may be feeling anxious about the risk of infection from Coronavirus – COVID-19.  This is understandable and we encourage you to contact your medical team for advice that is specific to your blood cancer. Please note, although Leukaemia Care is unable to give medical advice about an individual situation, we can provide you with general information and emotional support during this uncertain time.

Our helpline (Freephone 08088 010 444) is available Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm and Thursday and Friday evenings from 7 to 10 pm.  You can also contact us using WhatsApp or email support@leukaemiacare.org.uk

For information on how the government is handling the virus, please visit the link below– it is updated at 2 pm every day until further notice.

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

The NHS also has a section addressing common questions people ask about the virus and it is very comprehensive.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/common-questions/

Please refer to our guidance below regarding attending our support groups, conferences or participating in events such as the London Marathon in aid of Leukaemia Care.

Attending our support groups

All face to face support groups have been cancelled until June. Instead we will be using technology to hold these events virtually wherever possible.

We will continue to monitor the situation for meetings that are taking place after June and will keep everyone updated.

You can find out how to join one of our virtual support groups here.

Our conferences and other events

All conferences and patient panels have been cancelled until June. Instead we will be using technology to hold these events virtually wherever possible.

We will continue to monitor the situation for conferences and other events that are taking place after June and will keep everyone updated.

London Marathon and other sporting events in aid of Leukaemia Care

We understand that many of our runners have been training and fundraising for many months and are understandably anxious about the potential cancellation of events such as the London Landmarks Half Marathon and London Marathon.  Leukaemia Care is closely monitoring the situation and if events are cancelled, we will be in touch with our participants as soon as possible.

Travel information

Leukaemia Care are not able to give specific advice about going on or cancelling a booked holiday due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. Please check the Government website for advice about foreign travel, which is updated regularly regarding coronavirus https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

If you are worried about the risk of infection while travelling, please speak to your medical team.

It is advisable to take out appropriate travel insurance for all holidays, checking the exclusions and cancellation terms for any policies you may have. You can find out more information about travel insurance on our website, or email advocacy@leukaemiacare.org.uk for assistance.

Self-isolation/shielding for people with blood cancers

The Government have now issued full advice for all people considered at extra high risk of severe disease if they contract coronaviruses. All this information is available on the Government website but we have broken this information down for you in an easy to read blog.

You can read this information here

For more information about self-isolation, including help finding financial support, dealing with employers and assistance with the government support, please email advocacy@leukaemiacare.org.uk.

We’ll continue to monitor the situation but meanwhile, if you have any concerns, please get in touch.

Support and information

After a blood cancer diagnosis, we know how important information is to help you understand what you are about to go through. Whether you are a patient or a carer, we are dedicated to ensuring that anyone affected by blood cancer receives the right information, advice and support.

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