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Anni receiving treatment from nurse, Jade.

Keeping patients safe in moments of crisis

When COVID-19 threatened to halt cancer treatments, your donations helped fund an inventive solution which kept patients safe while continuing to access a vital service.

The COVID-19 outbreak was frightening for us all. But it was even scarier for people like Anni, whose cancer makes them extremely vulnerable to infection. 

To minimise the high risks that cancer patients faced during the pandemic and ensure that people needing life-saving chemotherapy could continue to receive vital care, the dynamic Guy’s Cancer team launched a pioneering new service – enabled by your generous donations. 

Working with St John Ambulance, Guy’s Cancer Charity funded a mobile cancer service, enabling patients to see a specialist team of nurses and phlebotomists (healthcare professionals who are trained to take blood) at community sites closer to their homes. 

I was dealing with fatigue from the chemotherapy treatment, so it was really important to have something very quick so I could then go back home and rest.

Anni, Mobile Cancer Service user

The service, which launched in April 2020, made a big difference for people like Anni. Rather than visiting the Cancer Centre at Guy’s, she was able to receive essential blood tests at one of three St John Ambulance treatment centres, accessibly located in outdoor carparks at local supermarkets and pharmacies.

Living with cancer is physically demanding: attending appointments for tests and procedures on top of dealing with the harsh side effects of treatment can be exhausting, so ensuring that people felt safe while receiving care from Guy’s Cancer clinicians during this challenging time was vital. 

The patients were scared to go into a hospital, but the mobile service was like a socially distanced one-to-one appointment, so they felt a lot safer.

Darren, Mobile Cancer Service driver

Dr Catherine Oakley, a chemotherapy nurse at Guy’s Cancer, said: “Anything we could do to minimise patients’ potential exposure to the COVID-19, such as reducing the number of trips they had to make to the Cancer Centre, had to be a good thing.” 

With your support, the dedicated Guy’s Cancer team can continue imagining and innovating even in times of crisis, ensuring that patients like Anni continue to receive the very latest in personalised care. 

Anni receiving treatment from nurse, Jade.

Help fuel outstanding, personalised care for people like Anni