This page will be updated regularly with links to national and local guidance for the management of cancer patients and information for patients during the ongoing pandemic.

We will endeavour to ensure that all guidance is the latest available, but if you are aware of any new guidance that should be on this page, or you encounter any broken hyperlinks, then please report them to us by emailing 


Page last updated: 07 May 2020


Information for Professionals


Information for Healthcare Professionals

This page will be updated regularly with links to national and local guidance for the management of cancer patients during the ongoing pandemic.

We will endeavour to ensure that all guidance is the latest available, but if you are aware of any new guidance that should be on this page, or you encounter any broken hyperlinks, then please report them to us by emailing 

Page last updated: 01 July 2020

National General Guidance

Next steps on NHS response to COVID-19: Letter from Sir Simon Stevens and Amanda Pritchard

(17 March 2020)

This letter sets out important actions every part of the NHS is asked to put in place to redirect staff and resources, building on multiple actions already in train.

A Clinical guide for the management of cancer patients during the coronavirus pandemic

(23 March 2020)

This document provides guidance for the prioritisation of patients requiring cancer surgery, systemic anti-cancer treatments (SACT) or radiotherapy, along with a range of general measures to be considered.

Cancer alliance information on managing cancer referrals

(20 March 2020)

This letter from NHS England and NHS Improvement to all Cancer Alliances temporarily modifies existing cancer waiting times guidance until further notice.

NICE [NG161] COVID-19 rapid guideline: delivery of systemic anticancer treatments

(March 2020)

The purpose of this guideline is to maximise the safety of patients with cancer and make the best use of NHS resources, while protecting staff from infection. It will also enable services to match the capacity for cancer treatment to patient needs if services become limited because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

NHS England and NHS Improvement on Coronavirus

(25 March 2020)

Corona Virus guidance for Clinicians and NHS Managers, including allied professionals and professional support workers covering all aspects of the clinical service.

Advice and support for patients at highest risk if they catch coronavirus (COVID-19) (25 March 2020)a letter to cancer alliances from NHS England highlighting the information available for high-risk patients. Including a letter detailing the advice given to patients and a Q&A document, which will be useful in responding to calls and queries, particularly from patients. 

Reducing Burden and Releasing Capacity at NHS Providers and Commissioners to Manage the COVID-19 Pandemic

(30 March 2020)

A Clinical Guide for the Management of Palliative Care in Hospital during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Summary Guidance for GPs: Suspected or Diagnosed Cancer during the COVID- 19 Pandemic

(30 March 2020)

Advice on Maintaining Cancer Treatment During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Management of Proton Beam Therapy Referrals in Response to COVID -19

Clinical Guide for the Management of Patients Requiring Endoscopy during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Guidance for the Management of Acute Oncology Patients During the Covid-19 Pandemic Crisis

Clinical Guide to Surgical Prioritisation During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Guidance on how to manage AO patients re COVID-19 - consensus document (21 April 2020)

Cheshire & Merseyside Guidance v0.13 - 04.05.2020 - This document provides guidance for the prioritisation of suspected LGI TWW patients using patient reported symptoms together with blood test results (FBC, ferritin, U&E and CRP) and Faecal Immunochemical testing (FIT)


2. British Society of Gastroenterology guidance on recommencing gastrointestinal endoscopy in the deceleration and early recovery phases of COVID-19 pandemic – This guidance has been issued by the BSG to guide the safest possible restart of service

Children & Teenagers & Young Adults

New guidance on children and young people's care needs in a community setting was published on 25 June.  This publication is intended to support staff who are providing care or supporting children and young people (and their families) who have palliative and/or end-of-life care needs in the community (including home and hospice care).

Primary Care

A Suite of Resources to Support Primary Care

Guidance and Standard Operating Procedures Coronavirus (COVID-19) and General Practice

Suite of Resources to Support Community-Based Health and Social Care and Ambulance Services

Primary Care Daily Bulletins

Royal College of GPs- General Pages

Royal College of GPs on Prioritisation

Genomic Medicine Service Letter

Local Guidance

CMCA Advice on Breaking Bad News

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre  (CCC)*

CCC’s tumour site reference groups (SRGs) have produced interim guidelines for medical and clinical oncologists. These are being updated frequently.

Updated COVID-19 specific SRG guidance is available for:

·         Palliative and supportive care

·         Lung cancer

·         Head and neck cancer

·         Colorectal cancer

·         Urology cancer

·         Breast cancer

·         Gynae cancer

·         Upper GI cancer

*The SRG guidance is only available on CCC’s extranet and can be accessed by CCC oncologists and staff

Specialty Association Guidance

British Association of Urological Surgeons  (BAUS)*

BAUS has developed interim guidance for the management of prostate, bladder and kidney cancer.

COVID-19 Strategy for the interim management of Prostate Cancer (BAUS)

*Requires BAUS member login. Please contact your local urologist.

Society for Cardiothoracic Surgery  (SCTS)

SCTS has compiled a range of resources to guide the management of cardiothoracic surgical patients during the pandemic.

British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists  (BAHNO)

BAHNO has produced initial guidance for the management of head and neck cancers during the COVID-19 outbreak in consultation with ENTUK.

British Society of Gastroenterology  (BSG)

The BSG and the Joint Advisory Group (JAG) have issued a statement relating to the urgent need to plan endoscopy activity over the next few months.

British Gynaecological Cancer Society  (BGCS)

The BGCS has produced this framework for the care of women with gynaecological cancer during the COVID 19 pandemic. The document was produced by a multidisciplinary team comprising gynaecological oncologists, clinical oncologists, medical oncologists and clinical nurse specialists.

British Sarcoma Group  (BSG)

The BSG has not issued any COVID-19-specific guidelines for the management of sarcoma patients. Sarcoma UK has, however, published information for patients

British Society for Haematology  (BSH)

The BSG has a dedicated web page with both general and haematology specific up-to-date COVID-19 information.

Association of Coloproctology of Great Britain and Ireland  (ACPGBI)

ACPGBI has published guidance for colorectal surgeons and trainees on rising to the challenges of COVID-19 as citizens, doctors and surgeons.

Association of Breast Surgery  (ABS)*

ABS guidance for its members is published on the members’ section of the website.
*Requires ABS member login. Please contact your local breast surgeon.

The Association for Cancer Surgery  (BASO-ACS)

BASO-ACS has issued a general statement in the light of COVID-19

British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Anaesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS)

BAPRAS has made available a range of resources for its members.

Royal College of Surgeons (RCSeng)

The Surgical Royal Colleges of UK and Ireland have issued joint guidance for surgeons working during the COVID- 19 pandemic

Lung cancer and mesothelioma-  service guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic

The British Thoracic Society has issued service guidance to show how pathways can be adjusted to reduce the use of resources and the risk of infection and how to prioritise patients.

Rapid Access Colorectal Cancer Pathway during COVID-19 (BSG)

The British Society of Gastroenterology have advised of changes to the methods of managing rapid access two week wait colorectal cancer referrals.

CRUK - Supporting prompt help-seeking amongst the public during the COVID-19 pandemic

Public Health Government Guidance 

Guidance On Shielding And Protecting People Defined On Medical Grounds As Extremely Vulnerable From COVID-19 (which includes cancer patients)

British Medical Association -COVID-19: Remote Consultations And Homeworking

This guidance supports doctors in any healthcare setting to conduct remote consultations during this pandemic.

Information for Patients

This part of our page is updated with advice on Coronavirus for people with cancer.

Last updated: 01 April 2020 

Advice on Coronavirus for People with Cancer

At-risk patient letter

Q & A

Cancer Charity Support Line Q & A's


Cheshire and Merseyside residents encouraged to not delay seeking help for cancer concerns:

People in Cheshire and Merseyside who suspect that they may have cancer are being assured by the local NHS that they can still be seen by their doctor for further investigation or treatment during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This is in response to a national poll that has revealed that nearly half of the public have concerns about seeking help during the outbreak.

The poll also found that one in 10 people would not contact their GP even if they had a lump or a new mole which did not go away after a week, and that getting coronavirus or giving it to their family were among the top reasons that people would not come forward when they have cancer symptoms, along with fears that they could be a burden to the health service.

The Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance has worked with partners and NHS England and NHS Improvement to establish a surgical ‘hub’ model for cancer treatment in the area. The role of the hub is to ensure that patients continue to have access to urgent cancer surgery irrespective of where they live.

While the majority of patients will have their surgery in their local hospital, some patients may be offered treatment in a different hospital and cancer teams will discuss the impact of those changes with individual patients, as and when the need arises.

Dr Chris Warburton, Medical Director at the Cheshire and Merseyside Cancer Alliance, said: “The NHS in Cheshire and Merseyside has worked quickly and effectively to coordinate the response to coronavirus, while still ensuring that patients can safely access essential services, such as cancer checks and urgent surgery. This includes rethinking how care can be delivered in different ways, including via telephone appointments and video calls, and how different sites can be utilised in the region to create cancer hubs for those patients who require treatment.

“As always, the NHS is here to help you and we would encourage you to use it when you need it. If you’re currently going through cancer treatment, speak to your doctor. Remember, don’t miss your appointments or delay treatment, as this may have serious consequences down the line.”

Dr David Levy, North West Regional Medical Director for NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “I’m worried that around a third of people in the North West would delay seeking advice if they have worrying symptoms, that need checking out, because they are scared of getting coronavirus or feel they are a burden to the NHS.

“The NHS and our services are very much still open. If you have any worrying symptoms such as sudden weight loss, a new mole or lump or blood in your urine or poo, then please make sure you seek medical advice as soon as possible from your GP. You can get advice from them online or over the phone. If you need to go for tests, they will let you know, and you must make sure you attend your appointment.

“GP practices and hospitals have introduced new processes to separate COVID-19 cases from other patients and there are strict Infection Protection and Control measures in place. Clinical teams have been working hard to introduce safe pathways for treatment away from COVID-19 patients.

“For many, those symptoms will be something other than cancer and a quicker diagnosis can mean one less worry. If cancer is diagnosed sooner, you can start treatment sooner and there will better the outcome for you. Waiting could mean a late diagnosis, which could be more difficult to treat. Please don’t delay.”

This assurance that patients can still seek treatment for cancer is part of a major national public information campaign launched at the beginning of this week, which is reminding people that they can still access healthcare as they normally would, by contacting their GP, calling 111 or visiting

[30th April 2020]