20 June 2022

We aim to provide members with both general and haematology specific up-to-date COVID-19 information.

This advice is for healthcare professionals. Patients looking for further information on their condition are advised to speak to their healthcare providers, who are best placed to answer specific questions.

Patients may also be able to get information from their patient support groups, some of them can be found listed here


Media Statement on syndrome of Thrombosis and Thrombocytopenia occurring after coronavirus vaccination

The Expert Haematology Panel has been instrumental in describing this condition and its management and continues to work closely with PHE and regulatory authorities. BSH is working with the EHP to make sure the haematology community is kept up to date with the latest information on this syndrome.  We have received many requests from the media for information and interviews and we continue to do our best to advise and inform wherever possible. However, all our members have responsibilities as NHS clinicians which are their priority roles and if we are unable to respond further, media requests may be redirected to MHRA.


This page will be reviewed every day and updated as necessary.

If you would like to add any resources, please email [email protected].

COVID-19 Vaccination
Psychological support (added 21/06/2022)

Thrombosis UK has established a psychology therapy and consultancy service specifically for VITT patients.

This is led by a clinical psychologist (Prof Paul Bennett) who has substantial experience in the treatment of individuals experiencing adverse psychological reactions to significant health challenges. Although operating virtually (via zoom), this will provide live therapy sessions, email support, and consultations as appropriate.

All patients referred to the service will have an initial ‘live’ consultation and follow-up support as appropriate.

More information can be found here.

Covid vaccine and blood cancer (added 20/06/2022)

This page covers what we know so far about covid vaccine effectiveness in people with different types of blood cancer, and what Blood Cancer UK are doing in this area. 

Additional provision of support for Vaccine-Induced Immune Thrombocytopenia and Thrombosis (VITT) patients added 08.02.2022

Additional provision of support for Vaccine-Induced Immune Thrombocytopenia and Thrombosis (VITT) patients leaflet provided by Thrombosis UK

 

 

Guidance produced by the UK ITP Forum Working Party on ITP/ITP relapse following Covid-19 vaccination (added 31.01.2022).

Guidance produced by the UK ITP Forum Working Party on ITP/ITP relapse following Covid-19 vaccination.

There is now emerging evidence of a small risk of ITP or ITP relapse following Covid-19 vaccination.  The UK ITP Forum has produced guidance for clinicians managing such cases.  This is a live document subject to updates as more is learnt about the condition.  

Information for patients with Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) scheduled for Covid-19 vaccination added 31.1.2022

An information sheet for patients with Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) scheduled for Covid-19 vaccination.

 

 

Third primary COVID-19 vaccine dose for eligible cancer patients (added 24.11.2021)

Letter from NHS England and NHS Improvement on Third primary COVID-19 vaccine dose for eligible cancer patients. 

For attention of GP practices and hospitals: Third vaccine dose for blood cancer patients (added 03.11.2021)

Letter from BCUK: For attention of GP practices and hospitals: Third vaccine dose for blood cancer patients.

Third vaccine dose for patients with Myeloproliferative Neoplasms (MPN) 30.09.2021

For the attention of GP practices and hospitals: Letter from MPN Voice

Updated JCVI guidance for vaccinating immunosuppressed individuals with a third primary dose (Added 09/09/2021)

The updated JCVI guidance for vaccinating immunosuppressed individuals with a third primary dose link is highlighted below

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) has issued updated guidance in relation to COVID-19 vaccinations for individuals aged 12 years and over with severe immunosuppression. This letter sets out the actions we are asking systems to take from today to begin vaccinating this group with a third dose as part of their primary vaccination course by 13 September 2021.

Importantly this guidance does not cover all Haematology patient groups and therefore Blood Cancer UK and MPN voice have issued much broader recommendations covering patients with myelodysplasia and myeloproliferative disorders. The link to these is below

Blood Cancer UK

MPN voice

Guidance produced by the Expert Haematology Panel (EHP) focussed on Vaccine induced Thrombosis and Thrombocytopenia (VITT) (last updated 03/09/2021)

Vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia and thrombosis: Link to guidance on management provided by the Expert Haematology Panel.

The Expert Haematology Panel comprises specialists in immunohaematology, haemostasis and thrombosis (or blood clotting and immune causes of reduced platelets), who held daily meetings between March and July 2021, to support clinicians managing these patients and learn from new cases. They are in regular communication with the regulators, other UK medical and surgical societies, multidisciplinary groups and international haematology colleagues focussed on this condition.

The meetings continue, now only on Mondays at 2pm, on this link


Media Statement on the syndrome of Thrombosis and Thrombocytopenia occurring after coronavirus vaccination

The Expert Haematology Panel has been instrumental in describing this condition and its management and continues to work closely with PHE and regulatory authorities. BSH is working with the EHP to make sure the haematology community is kept up to date with the latest information on this syndrome.  We have received many requests from the media for information and interviews and we continue to do our best to advise and inform wherever possible. However, all our members have responsibilities as NHS clinicians which are their priority roles and if we are unable to respond further, media requests may be redirected to MHRA

Letter to haematology teams and GPs regarding covid-19 vaccine and blood cancer. Added 11/06/2021

This is a letter that BCUK has written to haematology teams and GPs to highlight that Blood Cancer patients need to know that the covid-19 vaccine may not work for them. 

Haematology triage policy for patients with previous vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (VITT) (updated 14/05/2021)

VITT is a rare disorder occurring after COVID-19 vaccination and leading to blood clots in multiple organ sites including the venous sinuses of the brain. Untreated the risk of death is over 50%. People who have previously had VITT may present with recurrent symptoms. They need to be monitored closely.

This document outlines the Haematology triage policy for patients with previous vaccine-induced immune thrombocytopenia and thrombosis (VITT) 

List of UK Laboratories Offering HIT ELISA testing (updated 14/05/2021)

A list of UK Laboratories Offering HIT ELISA testing can be found here.

COVID-19 vaccine immune thrombosis and thrombocytopenia VITT Information for patients added 24/04/2021

This is a leaflet that can be printed out and given to patients.

COVID-19 vaccine in patients with haematological disorders (Last updated 13/01/2021)

COVID-19 vaccine in patients with haematological disorders

British Society for Haematology

This statement has been produced by the British Society for Haematology and has been reviewed by the Intercollegiate Committee on Haematology, on behalf of the Royal College of Physicians of London and the Royal College of Pathologists. Specialist haematology groups have also contributed

UK Chemotherapy Board Clinician Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and guidance on COVID19 vaccine for patients receiving Systemic Anti-Cancer Therapy (Added 12/01/2021)

This document has been produced in response to questions raised by cancer health care professionals relating to the administration of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and the Oxford University/AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine in patients receiving SACT.

General Haematology
Changes to coronavirus testing for accessing COVID-19 treatments for non-hospitalised patients (added 25.05.2022)

The Government has announced changes to its policy on coronavirus testing in England. Patients eligible for COVID-19 treatments through a COVID Medicines Delivery Unit (CMDU) will now need to use a Lateral Flow Test, which will be supplied to them by UKHSA, for use at home if they have symptoms of COVID-19.

Key information you need to know can be found here.

Guidance on management of ITP (Last Updated 11/01/2021)

The UK ITP Forum, has provided information for adult patients with immune thrombocytopenia in the setting of COVID-19.

Click here to read the document

 

Reprovisioning Haematology - Last Updated 31/07/2020

Along with many other Specialist Societies, BSH has been working with the Royal College of Physicians to highlight the issues of re-provisioning services in the presence of an ongoing COVID-19 risk.

The following brief summary document has been submitted to RCP and used to inform discussions at a senior level in the Department of Health.

Reprovisioning Haemtology Document 

Diamond Blackfan Anaemia Advice (Last Updated: 04/06/2020)

These documents were made in a collaboration between the Haemoglobinopathy Co-ordinating Centres in England, offering guidance to health professionals working with patients with Diamond Blackfan anaemia (DBA). It has been reviewed and agreed by representatives of the Haemoglobinopathy Co-ordinating Centres in England and the Clinical Reference Group for Haemoglobin disorders and DBA(UK). 

Click the links below to download advice:

NHP COVID-19 Guidance (PDF version)

NHP COVID-19 Guidance: Patients Version (PDF version)

 

Guidance on shielding for Children and Adults with splenectomy or splenic dysfunction during the COVID-19 pandemic (Last updated 06/05/2020

The British Society for Haematology Guidance on shielding for Children and Adults with splenectomy or splenic dysfunction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please see our guidance here

Gaucher Disease and COVID-19 Infection (Last Updated 04/05/2020)

The European Gaucher Disease Network, an EHA SWG GD Task Force, have written a response to the current SARS-­‐CoV2 (COVID-19) infection.

Click here to read this response 

BSH Advice on B12 Supplements (Last updated 01/05/2020)

This is the BSH guidance on B12 supplements during COVID pandemic.

Read the guidance here 

Sickle cell and Thalassaemia
Advice to clinicians on risk assessment for severe COVID-19 in patients with haemoglobinopathies and inherited rare anaemias (last updated 28.08.2020
Haemato-Oncology
International COVID-19 Blood Cancer Coalition (ICBCC) - PATIENT IMPACT STATEMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS added 02/03/2022

A multi-stakeholder coalition consisting of representatives from the global patient advocacy and clinical community has formed the International COVID-19 Blood Cancer Coalition (ICBCC) to address the specific impact of the pandemic on immunocompromised blood cancer patients (both acute and
chronic), like those living with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL), and to recommend solutions and
actions to mitigate those risks.

BSH has endorsed their PATIENT IMPACT STATEMENT AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Protecting immunocompromised blood cancer patients during the COVID-19 pandemic which can be found here.

 

Transfusion
General Transfusion advice General Transfusion advice (added 21/06/2021)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important, that patients are able to still receive blood transfusions if and when needs be. This link contains information on current blood and platelets stocks and also other key resources from NHS Blood and Transplant and the National Blood Transfusion Committee included Emergency Blood shortage plans for hospitals.

Please click the link below to access the information:

https://hospital.blood.co.uk/business-continuity/coronavirus-covid-19/


Other Transfusion Resources:

https://www.transfusionguidelines.org/

https://hospital.blood.co.uk/business-continuity/coronavirus-covid-19/

GPP Preoperative patient blood management during the SARS‐CoV‐2 pandemic (added 17/05/2021)

Remote pathways and priorities for care in pandemic times

The COVID‐19 pandemic, caused by the coronavirus SARS‐CoV‐2, has forced examination of much of routine healthcare provision in the UK, and necessitated changes in practice to protect patients from the virus while continuing to deliver high‐quality care for their other health needs. This has been highlighted by the challenges in provision of elective surgical services while SARS‐CoV‐2 remains prevalent in communities. NHS providers have moved from preoperative assessment pathways routinely involving face‐to‐face appointments to remote (telephone, digital or combination) assessments.12 Telehealth‐based solutions provide an innovative option to provide patient care during pandemic times while helping prevent and contain the spread of infection.3 They are also convenient for the patient and medical staff and are likely to become part of routine care in the future. This reduction in face‐to‐face contacts means there is a pressing need to rethink how best to prepare patients for elective surgery, ensuring comprehensive assessment is performed within the limitations imposed by pandemic‐related changes to working practices. It is also an opportunity to review the evidence for best care to evaluate the benefit of certain aspects of what may have become routine practice in consideration of risk balance to the patient.

Click here to read the full guideline.