16 March 2020

Page last updated on Friday 5 June at 11:04

Outpatient appointments

All post-transplant patients at Royal Papworth Hospital who are due to have an outpatient appointment in the next few weeks will be contacted personally by a member of the transplant nursing or admin team in the coming days. Please do not just turn up to the hospital. 

When you are contacted, you will be advised as to whether your appointment will still be at the hospital or if it will take place remotely via telephone. 

If you still have a question and would like to contact the team, please email papworth.transplant.continuingcare@nhs.net.
 

Latest FAQs

4 June 2020: Richard Quigley, Lead Nurse for Transplant, gives an update on transplant services at Royal Papworth Hospital and answers questions sent in by patients:

3 April 2020: Dr Jas Parmar, Transplant Consultant, answers your latest questions on coronavirus:

 

25 March 2020: Richard Quigley, Lead Nurse for Transplant, answers some of your coronavirus questions:
 

General questions

What can I do to keep myself safe?
Am I at increased risk?
What should I do if I feel unwell?
What should I do if I think I have been in contact with someone with COVID-19?
Should I self-isolate or work from home?
What should I do if I have a holiday planned?
Will I still be able to access my medicines / do I need to stockpile?
How you can help...

What can I do to keep myself safe?

Patients who have undergone transplant should follow national guidance in order to help prevent spread of the virus.

The following will also help: 

  1. Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  2. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. 

You can access latest updates from the NHS coronavirus website.

Am I at increased risk?

There is no specific data on the relative risk of COVID-19 in patients who have had a heart or lung transplant. Patients with chronic heart or lung disease are known to be at increased risk of developing severe illness. It seems reasonable to consider that all patients who have had a transplant will be at increased risk of severe infection especially if they have established graft damage that has occurred since transplant. Patients requiring oxygen or NIV will most likely be at highest risk.

There is no evidence that wearing a face mask will protect patients from acquiring COVID-19, but if they have a cough then wearing the mask may protect others, so this is a reasonable approach if you have symptoms.

What should I do if I feel unwell?

It is extremely important that you do not go directly to your transplant centre unless specifically advised to do so by a member of the transplant team.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are the same as many other problems in patients who have had a transplant which can make it difficult to decide the best course of action. You should monitor your symptoms closely, increased vigilance with spirometry is recommended. Please contact the transplant team if you do not have a functioning home spirometry device.

If you develop fever, cough or difficulty  breathing  you  should call the transplant team on 01223 638007. If you are generally well, with no drop-in spirometry, it is likely we will ask you to call NHS 111 for access to local COVID-19 testing. If you are unwell, you may be asked to attend either your local hospital or Royal Papworth Hospital. If you are advised to come to Royal Papworth Hospital, please stay in your car and call the transplant clinic nurses on 07775 587395 or 01223 638007to advise them that you have arrived.

Do not enter the hospital without first making contact with the transplant team.

If there is clinical concern based on your history, a member of staff will come to meet you with protective clothing for you to wear and will direct you to the most appropriate place immediately. Please continue to follow advice regarding social distancing and handwashing stringently.

What should I do if I think I have been in contact with someone with COVID-19?

If you have been in contact with someone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should self-isolate as per Public Health England guidance and let your clinical team know so that they can monitor you closely. If you start having symptoms call 111 and let your transplant team know.

Should I self-isolate or work from home?

Social distancing is highly advisable. Please see the latest Public Health England advice on social distancing for vulnerable people.

What should I do if I have a holiday planned?

The current situation with regards COVID-19 is evolving rapidly. Specific advice with regards risk can be found at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website.

Deciding to travel in this current climate is difficult and highly personal. All but essential travel should be avoided. If travel is essential, please take out appropriate travel insurance and see first point. 

Will I still be able to access my medicines / do I need to stockpile?

We are working closely with our NHS partners (e.g. Homecare) to make sure we continue to have enough supplies of medicines for our patients. If you are currently receiving medicines such as anti-rejection medication from Homecare, this will continue. The main change people may experience is that drivers may not ask for a signature and may stay a safe distance away from patients by setting the parcel down and then walking away and watching for recipient to pick up the parcel. No medicines will be left unattended.

Please see our pharmacy COVID-19 page for more information. 

How you can help...

As usual, make sure you have enough ‘buffer stock’ by keeping at least two to four weeks’ worth of your medicines at all times, and requesting repeat prescriptions or homecare deliveries well in advance of this supply running out. That will give your pharmacy or homecare provider enough time to deal with any shortages should they arise.

It’s important to note that this is standard practice for our patients and not new advice.

If you are experiencing any difficulty getting hold of a supply of your medicines, or if you have any concerns about their availability, please let the transplant continuing care team know as soon as possible by emailing papworth.transplant.continuingcare@nhs.net.

Where are we based?

Royal Papworth Hospital NHS Foundation Trust
Papworth Road
Cambridge Biomedical Campus
Cambridge
CB2 0AY

Telephone:  01223 638000

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