A woman who has been battling lung cancer for the last four years is fronting a new video stressing the importance of attending hospital appointments during Covid.
Jackie Connor’s film is the latest in a series released by the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust amid concerns that some people are still reluctant to visit the hospital for vital tests, treatment, scans and check-ups.
Hospital managers believe some people are worried they may catch Covid whilst visiting the hospital, or feel they are putting extra pressures on the staff during this very difficult time for the NHS.
In her film, Jackie talks about the stringent infection control measures in place at the Royal Berkshire Hospital and the steps taken by staff to ensure patients are kept safe and protected throughout their visit.
Staff are in regular telephone contact with her before her twice weekly chemotherapy sessions at the Berkshire Cancer Centre which is part of the RBH site. This is to confirm she’s not showing any signs of Covid or been in close contact with someone else with symptoms of the virus. And once she arrives at the hospital she’s reminded of the strict attention to the ‘hands, face, space’ rules which are adhered to by all staff and visitors.
During a visit to the site last week, Jackie said: “I was quite shocked when the staff told me that some people who really need to be seen to have their condition checked, or to have scans or tests, were not keeping their appointments.
“If you’ve got something like cancer it’s such a worrying thing and something that you really want to have checked and controlled as much as possible by coming to see the nurses and doctors looking after you. It just gives you that little bit of peace of mind. I’m really saddened to think some people are sitting at home, worrying about their illness, or symptoms like a lump, and are too scared to seek medical help.
“I was very happy to take part in the video, I’ve been so impressed by everything the staff at the hospital have done to make me feel reassured that we’re entering a safe and protected environment,” Jackie added.
Nicky Lloyd, Acting Chief Executive of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We were so pleased that Jackie agreed to talk about her experiences of coming to hospital for her treatment and how confident and reassured she was by all the measures we’ve put in place to keep everyone here safe.
“Our staff are working incredibly hard to keep services running throughout Covid so we are able to treat all medical matters, not just Covid ones.
“However, we do need your co-operation and I’m asking you to please keep your appointments with us so we can continue your treatment, or deal quickly with any problems.
“And if you have found worrying symptoms like lumps, unexpected bleeding or unplanned weight loss, you must seek medical help and contact your GP. The sooner these problems are treated the better,” said Nicky.
“As Jackie says, the hospital, along with our colleagues in local GP surgeries, are doing so much to make sure we meet the extremely strict safety regulations which have been introduced to keep patients, and our staff, safe,” she added.
Last month a number of RBH staff filmed videos in their native languages, including Polish and Nepalese, stressing the importance of attending hospital for treatment and illustrating how safe we have made our locations to protect everyone from the virus.
Jackie’s video can be seen here https://youtu.be/RytVTCSzte4