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Haemoglobinopathy services & COVID-19 (the illness caused by coronavirus)

Update as of 6th January 2021: We wanted to update you on the current situation of our services at St George’s during this particularly busy time during the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccination Q&A added 8.2.21

Outpatient Appointments

Unfortunately due to the pressures we are currently under most sickle cell and thalassaemia outpatient appointments are being delayed. If your appointment is affected we will contact you by phone, post or text. We will be continuing urgent reviews and unless you are specifically told otherwise this will be by telephone.

In the meantime if you have any concerns or questions that cannot wait until your clinic appointment please do contact our clinical nurse specialists by phone or text on 07825978812 and someone from the team will get back to you.

  • If you need urgent medical attention our emergency department is open and seeing patients.

Transfusions and Apheresis Services

These are still continuing as scheduled. Due to staff shortages at times your appointments might be changed at short notice and we thank you for your understanding.

Please do NOT come to the hospital if you have recently had COVID, have symptoms of COVID or are isolating due to having been in contact with COVID or because someone in your household has symptoms of COVID. Please call the day unit or apheresis unit on 0208 725 0612 to discuss and we will make alternative arrangements for you.

Blood Tests

If urgent blood tests are needed we will arrange these and discuss the arrangements with you.

Prescriptions including hydroxycarbamide, iron chelation

Medication that is prescribed by the hospital will continue to be provided and wherever possible we will arrange for this to be delivered directly to your house so you do not need to come to the hospital. You may need blood tests before your prescription can be filled and we will arrange these with you as above. If you are running out of your medication please do call Carol or Ena our clinical nurse specialists.


Some people who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable have started to be invited for their vaccines – please see our information here Covid Vaccine FAQs 08.02.21 about the COVID-19 vaccine in SCD and thalassaemia. Please do ensure you get information from reliable sources. There are several resources in our document. You can also look at the statements issued by the National Haemoglobinopathy Panel HBO+COVID-19+vaccination+statement+December+2020, Sickle Cell Society and the UKTS.


Following on from the Prime Ministers announcement on the 4th January 2021 all patients who are clinically extremely vulnerable are being asked to shield again.

Full advice on shielding will be available at the gov.uk website https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

The Government should be writing or texting all patients very shortly.

Keeping in contact and further information

If you are not already on our Whats App broadcast list, which we use to send out important information such as this, please text us on 07798 581198 to be added.

If you need information on our services or about your condition and COVID-19 please do look at the following websites.

National guidance on nhs.uk and gov.uk webpages.

Sickle Cell Society


UK Thalassaemia Society