Cancer charity ceases support services at Honiton centre amid coronavirus outbreak
PUBLISHED: 19:06 17 March 2020 | UPDATED: 19:06 17 March 2020
All support services at cancer charity FORCE’s weekly outreach centre in Honiton will stop with immediate effect.
The announcement comes as the UK continues to fight against the coronavirus, which is sweeping across the country with unprecedented speed.
The charity’s support and information centre in Exeter has also closed.
The charity will offer telephone and video call support to local people affected by cancer.
The decision to close its Support Centre in the grounds of the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital was taken after consultation with clinical staff at the RD&E.
It follows the first reported cases of Coronavirus/Covid19 at the hospital.
All support services at FORCE’s other outreach centres in Okehampton and Tiverton will also stop but chemotherapy will continue there too for now.
Cancer patients undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy treatment may be among those at particular risk from Coronavirus.
A spokesman for FORCE said: “It is with great regret that FORCE Cancer Charity has decided to temporarily close its support and information centre in Exeter with immediate effect. We will still be offering support and information on the phone and via video calling but there will be no face to face appointments or groups until further notice.
The decision was taken following the announcement of the first cases of coronavirus being treated at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and after consultation with clinical staff at the RD&E Trust.
“We recognise that this may cause significant upset to our users, but we feel it is the only responsible action at this time.
“The FORCE Support and Information Centre is a non-clinical environment and not a priority service in times of acute pressure.
“The risk of transmission of Coronavirus is too high for the group of people we support.
“Staff will continue to work from our Support and Information Centre unless they need to self-isolate because of symptoms.
“We will be offering counselling and information services on the telephone and please check our website over the coming weeks to see what we can do to help support people.
“Anyone with appointments or those booked on to courses are being contacted to explain the situation.
“All support services in Okehampton, Tiverton and Honiton will also stop with immediate effect but chemotherapy treatment will continue as normal in these locations at the moment.
“We will review arrangements on a
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