Coronavirus: Cancer

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 14th April 2020.

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Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Labour, Denton and Reddish

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what assessment his Department has made of the risks that covid-19 poses to people with cancer.

Photo of Andrew Gwynne Andrew Gwynne Labour, Denton and Reddish

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what plans he has to ensure (a) people living with cancer and (b) other vulnerable people can continue to receive care and support in their homes during the delay phase of the Government's response to covid-19.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

Holding answer received on 19 March 2020

On 24 March the Government implemented shielding as a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others. They are strongly advising people with serious underlying health conditions, which put them at very high risk of severe illness from COVID-19, to rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe.

People falling into this extremely vulnerable group include those with specific cancers, including; those who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer; those with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment; those having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer and those having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors. More information on sheltering can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

Those at high risk will be contacted by the National Health Service by 29 March 2020. Key workers including those who provide social care are following their own guidance measures to ensure they can still perform their roles without increasing the risk of spread. More guidance can be found at the following link:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-residential-care-supported-living-and-home-care-guidance

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