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Cancer treatments: How LloydsPharmacy is working with trusts to prevent delays during the pandemic

As healthcare providers in the UK urgently look for ways to safely manage the backlog of patients caused by the pandemic, LloydsPharmacy healthcare centres have been more vital than ever, supporting patients by expanding the capacity to care and relieving pressure on NHS trusts by preventing delays in cancer treatments.   

The importance of preventing delays can be shown by recent research revealing that more than 650,000 people with cancer in the UK (22%) have experienced disruption to their cancer treatment or care because of Covid-19. This includes many thousands of people who may not be in active treatment but still require follow up care and support following an earlier cancer diagnosis. For around 150,000 people this includes delayed, rescheduled or cancelled treatments*. 

LloydsPharmacy healthcare centres are supporting NHS trusts with their ability to expand patient care through our series of mobile infusion and oncology units, national static healthcare clinics and trained infusion and oncology nurses that bridge the gap between homecare and visiting local hospitals.   

James Clarke, Senior Business Development Manager at McKesson UK shared: “We have come across lots of challenges amid the pandemic, but our facilities are alleviating pressure on the NHS, solving capacity problems and supporting by providing treatments for those who can’t or don’t want to go to the hospital amid a pandemic by getting them into a mobile or static unit instead. Our efficient services are helping healthcare providers deliver effective, scalable cancer care, without compromising patient safety or the patient experience. 

The mobile infusion clinics are situated away from hospitals – reducing visits to hospital for patients as well as being conveniently located in community settings. Similarly, patients can also receive injectable treatments via a clinically trained pharmacist within the community at one of the static healthcare clinics. The clinics meet all of the quality and safety standards set out by the NHS Trust and Care Quality Commission as well as providing a welcoming environment for patients.  

Ian Campbell, Director of Pharmacy at the NHS Foundation Trust also shared: “Receiving cancer treatment can be an uncomfortable and emotional experience. The opportunity of having treatment, like chemotherapy, delivered one-on-one by an experienced nurse in the comfort of one of our mobile or static clinics makes such a difference to our patients’ lives.  We are also able to support patient discharge, getting patients home from hospital sooner – ultimately giving the patient back time.  

Ian Campbell, Director of Pharmacy at the NHS Foundation Trust also shared: “For me personally, the issue for patients is the waiting time. When patients are in palliation stage, you can’t justify waiting for appointments or post-treatment care – it’s so important that we transform our services to the point where we can let people at that stage have a better quality of life. Overall, I’m glad we have this partnership and the feedback from patients has been very positive. We are in a good position to hopefully one day increase the amounts and types of patients we treat too.” 

LloydsPharmacy healthcare centres have six healthcare centre clinics nationally, three mobile cancer treatment units and have administered over 4,421 treatments from 34 trained oncology nurses with 713 patient referrals.