Cancer Services In London During the Covid-19 Pandemic

A new approach to cancer care across the capital is being introduced to ensure patients get the lifesaving treatments they need during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cancer services across London are now being coordinated by a specialist ‘Cancer Hub’ led by The Royal Marsden and University College London Hospitals.

The Hub will ensure NHS hospitals continue to deliver as much cancer treatment as possible across the capital, with an initial focus on surgery, which requires critical care beds.

It will also support hospitals across the NHS and independent sector to work together to maximise capacity and ensure that people receive the treatment that they need.

Patients will remain under the care of their doctor or nurse specialist at the trust where they are currently being cared for, however they may move to another site for surgery.

Decisions about the best approach to treatment will continue to be taken by specialist cancer doctors with their patients.


Dr Vin Diwakar, medical director for the NHS in London, said:

“Every NHS hospital is rightly carrying out as much cancer treatment as possible, while clearly needing to balance this against the risk to individuals posed by coronavirus.

“The coronavirus pandemic is the biggest health threat this country has faced in a century and the biggest challenge our health service has ever faced, which is exactly why the NHS is already increasing treatment capacity across all hospitals, while getting on with other options too, including new facilities and a landmark deal with private hospitals.”


Notes to editors

  • The Royal Marsden and UCLH will be working with major teaching hospitals including the Royal Free, Guys and St Thomas’, Barts Health and Imperial, as well as local hospital partners on the cancer hub model​.
  • The cancer hub has established a clinical group to manage patient flows across all available capacity in both the NHS and independent sectors and to ensure the necessary capacity for critical care for cancer patients.
  • The aim is to match patients who require cancer surgery with available capacity and the right expert clinical team, coordinating the specialist cancer workforce across the capital.
  • Patients should continue to work with their local clinical team who will make all necessary arrangements with the cancer hub.