Urgent cancer diagnostic services during COVID-19

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In their letter on 31 July 2020, Sir Simon Stevens, NHS Chief Executive and Amanda Pritchard, NHS England and Improvement Chief Operating Officer, set out priorities for phase 3 of the COVID-19 response, including restoring full operation of all cancer services. The commitment to retain urgent cancer services as a priority was reiterated in a letter to the system from Dame Cally Palmer and Professor Peter Johnson on 30 November.


In response to this, there have been many enquiries from the system about how to manage cancer diagnoses safely alongside the COVID-19 pandemic. This document responds to those queries and provides a reference point for the system on how to manage urgent cancer diagnostics.