Outpatients checkup after vaginal brachytherapy - will it be deferred or by phone?

My second 3-month check up since my vaginal brachytherapy ,( in January 2020), is due in 10 days time in late June. It is due in the cancer outpatients clinic at the hospital where I had my original treatment. The appointment was made in March very shortly Before Lockdown. I have not heard anything from the hospital since.

The Cancer Clinic is once a week, standing room only  and i imagine there is now a long backlog . The clinic  includes newly diagnosed, checkups post op, active chemo patients and a very large percentage are over 70s. It seems inevitable there will  be delays. For a start there is no prospect of social distancing in the waiting room.

It is not possible to phone the clinic as they do not accept phone calls. Appointments sent  via the post arrive after the event. I rely on making my next appointment in person at the previous one .

The hospital website, updated 2 days ago, is confusing. It basically says outpatients appointments at the hospital  will  be replaced by telephone or online appointments for the present. If you do not hear from us, please attend as usual. As I am officially in remission at present I imagined I would be a candidate for a remote appointment. But I have not heard from them. (Also it is a 1.5 hour trek trek each way to the hospital and I am over 70 so should not be in  public transport.)

Up till now I have  made appointment rolling from the previous one when at the clinic in person.  What  has been anyone else's experience of a check up due during lockdown ?

  • Hi nightingale I am in a bit similar position to you finished 3 sessions of brachytherapy on 25thfeb for stage 1a grade 3 after full hysterectomy I have only had a quick telephone call on 1 st april basic as far as they concerned transfer me back to hospital for next check up I have heard nothing as of yet nothing from GP since last may when a young locum referred me after been have had 2 swabs told nothing shown up just age but it defo wasnt I think I am due a next appointment should b 1st july as I am in Scotland only phase 1 still here I expect a telephone call again I would rather be seen as some days usual aches pains send you into a tailspin take care and stay safe xx

  • Hi I had an outpatients appointment for a few weeks ago where I should have had internal and external examinations following radiotherapy and brachytherapy, plus blood test and chest x-ray.  I got a phone call a week before the appointment day telling me my Oncologist would phone me on the day I had the appointment for, which she did.  Obviously no examinations could take place but she asked me all the usual questions that she does when I see her in person and as I had no new worrying symptoms to report ie bleeding from anywhere, lumps etc. then she said I would get my next appointment in the post and I can ring any time I am concerned.  

    I hope you can find out what will happen in your case.  It seems strange your clinic doesn't accept phone calls, does that include the secretary of the person you would have been seeing or just the general appointments line?  

    Lesley xx

  • I was due my check up last week. When I phoned the hospital appointment line they confirmed that all appointments had been replaced with phone calls until the end of June. I then got a phone call from one of the nurses at my appointment time. She basically checked how I was, asked about any symptoms I might have, reassured me that all sounded ok and made sure I knew where to phone if I did have any worrying symptoms.

  • I was due to have a face to face appointment today but i got called last week to be told that this would now be a telephone consultation and that it would happen this Monday gone on the 15th. I was asked all the things they normally ask, except having an examination which they were wanting to do and it was planned that if everything went ok then I would move to telephone self reporting but i was told this would ideally happen at another time and as i was told that I needed to go my GPs and try and arrange tests and bring forward my renal consultation if possible as they want to rule out a few things which came up in the conversation, but on the gynae front i felt confident that they would bring me in there if they felt that it was needed too, but they wanted to reduce my risk going there as much as possible. Yes its true that what you say in a telephone call maynot feel much plus it’s possible to over look things and there is times when someone needs to eyeball you but i was given the number to call in an emergency and they know I have other health issues that are complicating things but were helpful and are helpful trying to push things in the right direction when they can, as they are a specialist gynae hospital out of town for me. I admit I did have some relief not having to travel in at the moment and I know its complicated getting to see the Gp since covid -19 and the lockdown situation and i do believe that moving forward that this has to be more easy to do because there are limitations to you being able to discuss it thought with your Gp and indeed your consultant can never really fully understand and help you without looking at you but there are times a phone call just helps with reassurance its just alot of reliance on you being able to describe everything.