Information for all kidney and transplant patients at Guy’s and St Thomas’ regarding coronavirus (COVID-19).
As a kidney patient you are at an increased risk of becoming unwell if you are infected with coronavirus. Therefore it is important that you follow NHS national advice around thorough and frequent hand washing and hygiene.
The situation is changing rapidly, please visit the NHS website and follow the NHS national advice. Everyone should be observing social distancing now and there are no additional measures for patients with chronic kidney disease. However, transplant patients and those patients taking a certain level of immunosuppression medicines have been designated extremely vulnerable and should rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe. NHS England is directly contacting transplant patients to confirm this advice. You are strongly advised to stay at home at all times and avoid any face-to-face contact for a period of at least 12 weeks.
We understand a number of patients have not received shielding letters from NHS England. Guy's and St Thomas' are not part of this process but we making enquiries regarding this on your behalf. If needed, you can self-register for help on the NHS website.
Further information is available on the Public Health England website. For non-transplant patients, guidance about what immunosuppression medicines would put you into the shielding group can be found on the Kidney Care UK website.
Please see below for information and advice regarding outpatient appointments.
We are taking steps to minimise the need to attend clinical appointments in person, replacing this with telephone consultations. Some patients will need blood tests and we are working on how to get these done whilst minimising time in hospital. If you have a temperature, cough or difficulty breathing, please call the clinic before attending.
If you have concerns about the above advice, please talk to your dialysis or transplant team or phone us using the helpline numbers on the right of this page.
Be aware that we are experiencing high demand and please avoid emails. We will not be able to write specific individual letters about coronavirus.
Please try to have your blood test done one to two working days before your virtual clinic appointment. Blood test services for Guy’s and St Thomas’ kidney patients will be provided at:
- Kidney clinic (PDF 263Kb), 4th floor, Tower Wing, Guy’s Hospital, 9am-4pm.
Alternatively you can phone and book a blood test appointment at one of these centres:
Dialysis patients will have their blood tests done in the dialysis units as usual.
Collecting your medications
Hospital prescribed medications only
If you are coming to the kidney clinic at Guy’s Hospital for blood tests and our records suggest you need more medication, this will have already been prescribed and you will be able to collect it from the outpatient pharmacy after having your blood test. If you need a prescription, please ask reception on arrival and this will be prescribed.
If you are attending Sidcup or Tunbridge Well kidney treatment centres, please email TRUMedicinesManagement@gstt.nhs.uk at least five working days before you are attending. Please let them know what you need, which centre you are attending and when, and we will aim to have your medication ready for you to pick up. Please contact your GP for prescriptions for your other medications as usual.
You need to attend dialysis and take all your medication as normal. We advise that you do not dialyse ‘away from base’ (holiday dialysis) until further notice.
We will continue to provide transport for eligible patients. Our transport services are incredibly busy, please do consider if there is a friend or family member who can take you and/or collect you from the dialysis unit. Unfortunately they will not be able to stay with you during your treatment.
If you are unwell with coronavirus and require admission to hospital we will provide dialysis to you at the bedside, either on the specialist infection wards or in intensive care.
If you have coronavirus but are well enough for community treatment we will offer dialysis in isolation. This might not be at your usual dialysis unit however transport will be provided.
If someone in your dialysis unit is found to have coronavirus and potentially exposed other patients, we will take advice from the Trust’s infection control department.
Home haemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis
You should continue as normal. We are in contact with the dialysis companies for assurance regarding the delivery of supplies.
Transplantation and patients taking immunosuppression
If you are well you should continue taking your immunosuppression as normal. Current advice is that if you have been exposed to coronavirus but are well, you should continue your immunosuppression as normal.
If you have symptoms (a temperature, cough or difficulty breathing) or you are concerned that you may have contracted coronavirus, please contact us and we will advise you (details on the right of this page).
There is currently no problem with the supply of immunosuppressive medicines but you should ensure you have a stock of around four weeks.
If you are waiting for a transplant, we have decided to suspend our kidney and pancreas transplant programmes due to concerns about COVID-19. We hope to resume transplant surgery as soon as possible. Patients on the waiting list will be contacted by their own kidney team or the Guy's transplant team to inform them of any changes. Please contact the Helpline numbers on the right of this page if you would have any concerns or queries.
Nephrology/CKD and dialysis helpline
Tel: 020 7188 5665
Tel: 020 7188 0549
Queries concerning appointments
Tel: 020 7188 5711
Helplines are open 9am-5pm, Monday to Friday.
Evening and weekends, please use the NHS 111 online service.
Please visit the main Trust coronavirus (COVID-19) page for more information.
Kidney Care website
Visit the Kidney Care UK website for advice and support.