The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the whole country, with recent reports of a high number of cases in all 4 UK nations. We know this is a worrying time for many of you. Therefore, we wanted to provide an update on what we are doing to bring this to the attention of decision makers.
Back in May, we conducted a survey of patients. Thanks to the 288 patients who generously gave us their time, we were able to get a better understanding of how patients felt a month on from most restrictions lifting in England and around the time of many rules ending in other nations too.
Overall, the survey revealed that patients felt very mixed on how comfortable they were with the easing of restrictions. To read more about our survey results please read our insights here.
We want to acknowledge the different feelings about COVID-19 present in the community of leukaemia patients. In response to this survey, here are our commitments to our patients:
- We will continue to raise the concerns of those who are still concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their health.
We recognise that people are feeling varying levels of concern about COVID-19 now, but we want to be there for people who feel less comfortable and so we will continue to raise awareness of their concerns. So far, we have done this through charity coalitions, meetings with the NHS and the Government, meetings with individual MPs. We will continue to engage with these stakeholders and also find new ways to do so.
- We will call for the government to make Evusheld available in the UK
We remain committed to finding out more information about the Government’s progress in procuring Evusheld and to push for transparency in time-frames of the review. We have recently accepted an invite to contribute to a NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) appraisal of Evusheld. Where there are furhter opportunities to engage or influence we will ensure that we represent the interests of leukaemia patients.
- We will continue to call for improving the access to antiviral treatments for COVID-19
We know it can be scary to catch COVID-19 as an immunocompromised person. Evusheld is unlikely to protect everyone who takes it if it becomes available, as like other treatments it is not 100% effective. Therefore, antivirals will continue to play a role in preventing severe illness and death in the most clinically vulnerable. We will work to ensure everyone who needs access gets access and that the system works as smoothly as possible. So far we have successfully met with NHS England and NHS digital which resulted in a change to broaden out the eligibility criteria. We continue to use these lines of communication to report any issues that we hear of. In addition our advocacy team will help patients navigate the process of accessing antivirals should a patient test positive.
- We will ensure that precautions are in place when we hold events
The responses to our survey told us that some people want to resume to more in-person meetings and events, while others do not yet feel comfortable doing so. Where events or meetings have an in-person option, we will encourage attendees to wear a mask and to socially distance from peers where possible.
- We will continue to keep you up to date on the latest COVID research and advice wherever possible.
We are committed to sharing the latest information that is relevant to leukaemia patients via our various channels, including webinars, social media posts, emails, and blogs on our website.