Coronavirus: BHRUT switches cancer surgery and chemotherapy to private hospital in Brentwood

BHRUT cancer nurses Christelles Bisunga, Nikki Akar, Chelo Bou and Yagmur Kocak with ward clerk Shar

BHRUT cancer nurses Christelles Bisunga, Nikki Akar, Chelo Bou and Yagmur Kocak with ward clerk Sharon Murray (second from right). Picture: BHRUT - Credit: BHRUT

Cancer surgery and chemotherapy treatment are among the services an NHS trust has moved to a private hospital in Brentwood during the Covid-19 crisis.

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT), which runs Queen’s Hospital in Romford and King George Hospital in Goodmayes, has temporarily moved some appointments and surgeries to Spire Hartswood Hospital.

BHRUT teams worked with Spire counterparts to move most chemotherapy, some cancer and neurology surgeries and urgent outpatient appointments to the private hospital. A trust spokeswoman said most chemotherapy has been switched as the treatment lowers a patient’s immune system, resulting in a higher risk if they contract coronavirus. Stuart McCaighy, specialty manager for haematology and oncology at BHRUT, said: “The move was a wonderful example of teamwork...” A small number of patients will still have chemotherapy at Queen’s, with the cancer area separated from the rest of the hospital.

Lucy Gladman, BHRUT’s deputy divisional manager for anaesthetics, said the next step will be to move ophthalmology, urology and gynaecology outpatient clinics and gynaecological cancer diagnostics.

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