Covid-19: Guiding Principles for Recovery in Psycho-Oncology
Adult Psycho-oncology services carry out most of their work in a face to face capacity. As a result of COVID-19, therapeutic sessions are now delivered virtually for a significant number of patients. Where work is carried out over the telephone or by video-conference, certain adjustments need to be made to ensure that this work is safe, ethical and effective.
These principles highlight the necessary adjustments to face to face practice and should be read in conjunction with services’ standard operating policies. The principles take into consideration the need for services to understand their recent fluctuations in demand in order to support future changes in psycho-oncology referrals and how services will manage these changes in referral patterns.
In preparation for COVID-19 restoration and recovery planning, a working group was stood up in May 2020 following a meeting with Trust psycho-oncology leads across London. Transforming Cancer Services Team (TCST) has facilitated working group meetings to develop these resources for all psycho-oncology services in London.
The psycho-oncology community recognises that there are many uncertain decisions and compromises that will be made with regard to patient care (direct work) and support to the NHS workforce (indirect work). Often there is little or no solid evidence of equivalence with usual care and this is an area for future research.