Please note: As of Monday 18th May 2020, loss of taste and smell (anosmia) are now officially recognised symptoms of COVID-19 in the UK. The official symptoms are now: a new, continuous cough, a fever and loss of smell or taste. However, as loss of smell and taste may be signs of other respiratory infections such as the common cold, experts say fever and cough remain the most important symptom to look out for.
If you present with loss of taste or smell, we ask you to follow the same guidance as with the other symptoms of COVID-19: please self-isolate for 7 days (or 14 if someone in your household displays symptoms).
Due to the increasing numbers of cases of coronavirus across the UK, The Royal Marsden is, from Thursday 26 March, suspending all visiting to the hospital in order to limit the spread of the virus and protect vulnerable patients and our staff. Please click through for more information.
We want to reassure our patients, their families and anyone worried about cancer during this difficult time that we are still delivering cancer treatment - the hospital is open. Click here for more infromation from our staff about cancer treatment during the pandemic.
If you are a Royal Marsden patient who is currently receiving treatment and you are displaying the symptoms of coronavirus, or other illness, please call The Royal Marsden Macmillan Hotline on 020 8915 6899, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Non patients are advised to stay at home (self-isolate) without any testing for COVID-19, regardless of travel history or contact with confirmed cases, if they have:
a. A new continuous cough
b. High temperature (of 37.8 degrees centigrade or higher)
If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness, however mild, stay at home (self-isolate) for seven days from when your symptoms started.
If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14 day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. If someone has serious symptoms they cannot manage at home they should use NHS 111 online (people should only call NHS111 if they cannot get online). Further advice about symptom management and self-isolation can be found here.
Please note we are acting to reduce the spread of the virus and thus the following entrances to the hospital are the only ones in use for patients:
Due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases across the UK, the hospital is taking some immediate measures to ensure patients and staff remain safe. We have therefore changed some follow up outpatient appointments to telephone appointments to ensure we minimise the number of people coming into the hospital. Patients will be contacted by letter if their appointment has changed in this way.
There are number of resources available for further support during this time - please click through for more information.
To reduce the number of people entering the hospitals, we have decided to suspend the majority of services carried out by Friends of The Royal Marsden, and Royal Marsden Cancer Charity volunteers. Unfortunately, this means the Outpatients café in Chelsea will close, as will the shop and sales table in Sutton and the tea trolley, outpatients and MDU admin services will cease, among others. We want to thank all of our volunteers for their support, and look forward to restarting services as soon as we can.
Advice for travellers
If you have returned to the UK within the last 14 days, please check specific advice for travellers which is updated regularly.
If you are due to attend The Royal Marsden for an appointment then we ask you to please telephone the hospital department that you plan to visit, BEFORE attending so that we can carry out a brief assessment.
Further information is available on gov.uk/coronavirus and nhs.uk. If you have general queries call the dedicated London response centre LCRC on 0300 303 0450.
Public health advice
The NHS and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. In addition, The Royal Marsden has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all our patients and staff while also ensuring services are available as normal.
Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:
• 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.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
Testing of suspected coronavirus cases is carried out in line with strict regulations. This means that suspected cases are kept in isolation, away from public areas of the hospital and returned home also in isolation. Any equipment that comes into contact with suspected cases is thoroughly cleaned as appropriate. Specific guidance has also been shared with NHS staff to help safeguard them and others. Patients can be reassured that their safety is a top priority, and are encouraged to attend all appointments as usual.
If you’d like some tips on how to wash your hands effectively please watch this film which can be applied to effective hand washing in all situations.
Updated: 18th May 2020