I have come across an article entitled Care of haematology patients in a COVID-19 epidemic-it does not refer specifically to CML patients but to cancer patients as a whole.
Under the heading phlebotomy it suggests that one option is to extend the interval for testing as waiting in such clinics is not advised because of the risks involved for patients such as us that have been described as extremely vulnerable.It suggests that we might wait outside in car parks to be called in at the last minute but this is fine in theory but if the system is overwhelmed then putting this into practice is difficult.
For outpatient clinics as long waits have risks it suggests specialists undertake telephone consultations or to wait outside until called.Medicines- it suggests delivery by courier or drive through collection-the latter I am not aware of in UK.
If there are deemed to be 1.5 million in England (or UK?) who are thought to be extremely vulnerable then especially for cancer patients then some form of policy needs to devised for outpatient appointments.
In my area the main NHS hospital is being adapted over to concentrate on corona virus treatment and the private hospitals have been contracted to undertake the urgent surgery cases;so main hospitals will be kind of place we should avoid.
If one million people in UK have contracted the virus and if Jeremy Hunts figures are correct then 1 in 60 persons out there might be a carrier or spreader.Data from studies in China suggest that because of the immunosuppressive nature of most cancer therapies cancer patients have a higher incidence of severe events when exposed to the virus are are likely to need intensive care /ventilation/death-39% versus 8% in patients without cancers.
If one were to add in other co -morbidities that cancer patients might have then the risk factor is even higher.The article suggests haematologists might consider reducing the dose or stopping in order to alleviate the immunosuppressive nature of treatments but for us that is unlikely to be an option.
If one adds in a few other factors (not in the article) such as age and being over 70,being male as opposed to being female and in blood group A as opposed to O (studies from China) then some of us are at considerable risk.
Some GPs are willing to take bloods on behalf of specialists and forward them on prior to a hospital appointment but I understand that they cannot prescribe tkis because this can only be done by hospital doctors and the finances of these drugs comes from specialist services funding from government to hospital trusts.
I have not yet had a letter to say that I am at risk in the group extremely vulnerable;I have registered on the relevant government website and today received an alert to stay at home.I am not sure when and by what means the NHS will be able to announce or implement a policy to deal with outpatients such as ourselves with haematological malignancies.
With best wishes