Urology department: impact of COVID-19 on prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment and support

The request was successful.

Dear Cardiff and Vale University Health Board,

Prostate Cancer UK are undertaking a Freedom of Information Act (FOI) request of all Trusts, Health Boards and Health and Social Care Trusts, with the aim of assessing the impact of COVID-19 on prostate cancer diagnosis, treatment and support pathways.

Data will be used to identify how we can target future resources to ensure that all patients with suspected prostate cancer have access to pre-biopsy MRI and biopsy, treatment within a safe time period and support, with minimal risk of contracting COVID-19.

We really appreciate your help with this, especially as we understand that there are currently potential limitations on resources. Please pass the below on to your urology department for them to complete. If this is not possible, we would really appreciate your help to provide as much information as you can.

We ask that you please indicate your answer by marking with an “X” next to any answers that apply or by deleting all answers that do not apply. Please avoid answering by italics, underlining or bold, as these do not show up when we process your response.

Yours faithfully,

Thomas Harding (Knowledge Officer, Prostate Cancer UK)

1. Did you suspend your MRI before biopsy service for patients with suspected prostate cancer as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?
a. Yes
b. No
c. We did not offer MRI before biopsy before the pandemic

2. If yes, have you now resumed MRI before biopsy for patients with suspected prostate cancer?
a. Yes
b. No
c. No, but we refer patients elsewhere (Please state the referral area:)
d. N /A

3. Do you currently use a pre-MRI clinical triage for patients with suspected prostate cancer? By pre-MRI clinical triage, we mean a process, often Clinical Nurse Specialist led, that determines patient suitability for MRI before biopsy
a. Yes
b. No

4. Has your radiology department introduced any new MRI exclusion criteria for patients with suspected prostate cancer as a result of COVID-19?
a. Yes (please specify:)
b. No
c. N/A

5. If yes, do you plan to maintain any of these exclusion criteria once restrictions to limit patients’ COVID-19 risk are lifted?
a. Yes (please specify:)
b. No
c. N/A

6. Did you stop conducting biopsies for patients with suspected prostate cancer as a result of COVID-19 infection risks?
a. Yes
b. No

7. If yes, have you resumed biopsy services for patients with suspected prostate cancer?
a. Yes
b. Yes, but only for a subset of patients (please specify:)
c. No
d. No, but we refer patients elsewhere for prostate biopsy (Please state the referral area:)

8. Do you offer transperineal biopsy under local anaesthetic?
a. Yes
b. No
c. No, but we plan to in future (please specify when if possible:)

9. Following an MRI scan for suspected prostate cancer, what criteria do you use to select patients for biopsy? Please include all that apply:
a. Patients with a PI-RADSs or Likert score of 1 or greater
b. Patients with a PI-RADS or Likert score of 2 or greater
c. Patients with a PI-RADS or Likert score of 3 or greater
d. Patients with a PI-RADS or Likert score of 3 or greater, but only if PI-RADS or Likert score 3 patients have other clinical indications (such as age, ethnicity, PSA density) that make them higher risk
e. Patients with a PI-RADS or Likert score of 4 or greater
f. We do not offer MRI before biopsy
g. We do not currently biopsy patients

10. Did you delay radiotherapy treatment for prostate cancer patients as a result of COVID-19?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Partially (please specify:)
d. N/A (please specify:)

11. If yes, have you cleared your backlog for prostate cancer radiotherapy treatment?
a. Yes
b. No
c. N/A – We did not delay prostate cancer radiotherapy treatment

12. Did you delay radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer patients as a result of COVID-19?
a. Yes
b. No
c. Partially (please specify:)
d. N/A (please specify:)

13. If yes, have you cleared your radical prostatectomy backlog?
a. Yes
b. No
c. N/A – We did not delay radical prostatectomy for prostate cancer patients

14. To address your backlog did or are you using a protocol to risk stratify patients and prioritise patients with high-risk and locally advanced prostate cancer for treatment within 3 months?
a. Yes
b. No
c. No, we did not have a sufficient backlog to require patient prioritisation

15. Does your protocol apply to new patients with high-risk and locally advanced prostate cancer with the intention to radically treat them within 3 months of diagnosis?
a. Yes
b. No
c. N/A - We do not have a protocol for patient prioritisation

16. Do you have prostate cancer Personalised Stratified Follow Up (PSFU) protocols in place?
a. Yes
b. No
c. We are in the process of developing PSFU protocols

17. If Yes, do you have a digital remote monitoring system in place for follow up?
a. Yes (Please specify the name of the system used: e.g My Medical Record, Patient Knows Best)
b. No

18. If no, do you plan to implement a digital remote monitoring system for follow up?
a. Yes - (Please specify the name of the system you plan to implement: e.g My Medical Record, Patient Knows Best)
b. No

19. Which of the following criteria are part of your follow up protocols? (please mark all that apply:)
a. Patients have access to a Support Worker who acts as their key worker for the duration of their follow up care.
b. Patients have access to an online patient service that allows them to check test results, complete assessments, view patient information and message their clinical team.
c. Patients attend a 4-hour supported self-management workshop with a group of 8 to 10 men to develop knowledge, skills and confidence to self-manage their condition
d. Patients do not need to attend routine appointments unless an issue arises.

FOI Requests (Cardiff and Vale UHB - Information Governance), Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

Dear Mr Harding,

 

I am writing in response to your e-mail below requesting information from
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (the UHB) under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. In light of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic facing the NHS, we will endeavour to respond to your request at
the first possible opportunity. However, please consider that during this
current climate, resources may be diverted away from usual compliance and
information governance work, resulting in understandable delays when
making information rights requests.

 

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives individuals the right to access
official information. The Act allows the right to request any recorded
information held by a public authority, such as Cardiff and Vale UHB.  A
request can be made for any information it is thought a public authority
may hold. The right only covers recorded information which includes
information held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten
documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.  

 

A request can take the form of a question, rather than a request for
specific documents, but an authority does not have to answer your question
if this would mean creating new information or giving an opinion or
judgment that is not already recorded.

 

As you are making a request under the Freedom of Information Act the UHB
will consider your request in accordance with the Act and in line with the
appropriate guidance issued by the Information Commissioner as detailed
below.

 

 The UHB will:

 

• identify which questions amount to requests for information held on
record;

 

• be ready to offer advice and assistance that is reasonable in the
circumstances; and

 

• provide a response in line with the requirements of the legislation.  

 

I would now like to confirm that your request has been forwarded to the
relevant department to action. A further response will be issued in due
course.

 

As your request is being dealt with under FoI, there is a deadline of 20
working days for response to be issued.

 

Yours sincerely,

Abigail Coultis

Information Governance

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

02920 744870

 

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FOI Requests (Cardiff and Vale UHB - Information Governance), Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Harding

 

I am writing further to your e-mail below requesting information from
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (the UHB) under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000.

 

I can now confirm that the UHB has completed a search of its records and
has established it does hold information falling within the confines of
your request and is in a position to respond to your request. Please see
attached above the information that can be disclosed which I trust is
sufficient for your purposes.

 

Should you have any queries or need clarification on any aspect of this
response please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

 

If you are unhappy with the service you have received in relation to your
request and wish to make a complaint or request a review of our decision,
you should write to:

 

Head of Corporate Governance
Cardiff and Vale University Local Health Board
Executive Headquarters
University Hospital of Wales
Heath Park
Cardiff
CF14 4XW

 

If you are not content with the outcome of any complaint, you may apply
directly to the Information Commissioner for a decision. Generally the
Information Commissioners Office cannot make a decision unless you have
exhausted the complaints procedure provided by the UHB.

The Information Commissioner can be contacted at:

Information Commissioner’s Office - Wales

2nd Floor Churchill House

Churchill Way

Cardiff
CF10 2HH

 

Yours sincerely,

Jane Caldwell

Information Governance

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

02920 744870

 

 

 

From: Abigail Coultis (Cardiff and Vale UHB -Information Governance) On
Behalf Of FOI Requests (Cardiff and Vale UHB - Information Governance)
Sent: 22 September 2020 12:45
To: 'Thomas Harding' <[FOI #692797 email]>
Subject: FoI.20.346

 

Dear Mr Harding,

 

I am writing in response to your e-mail below requesting information from
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board (the UHB) under the Freedom of
Information Act 2000. In light of the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19)
pandemic facing the NHS, we will endeavour to respond to your request at
the first possible opportunity. However, please consider that during this
current climate, resources may be diverted away from usual compliance and
information governance work, resulting in understandable delays when
making information rights requests.

 

The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives individuals the right to access
official information. The Act allows the right to request any recorded
information held by a public authority, such as Cardiff and Vale UHB.  A
request can be made for any information it is thought a public authority
may hold. The right only covers recorded information which includes
information held on computers, in emails and in printed or handwritten
documents as well as images, video and audio recordings.  

 

A request can take the form of a question, rather than a request for
specific documents, but an authority does not have to answer your question
if this would mean creating new information or giving an opinion or
judgment that is not already recorded.

 

As you are making a request under the Freedom of Information Act the UHB
will consider your request in accordance with the Act and in line with the
appropriate guidance issued by the Information Commissioner as detailed
below.

 

 The UHB will:

 

• identify which questions amount to requests for information held on
record;

 

• be ready to offer advice and assistance that is reasonable in the
circumstances; and

 

• provide a response in line with the requirements of the legislation.  

 

I would now like to confirm that your request has been forwarded to the
relevant department to action. A further response will be issued in due
course.

 

As your request is being dealt with under FoI, there is a deadline of 20
working days for response to be issued.

 

Yours sincerely,

Abigail Coultis

Information Governance

Cardiff and Vale University Health Board

02920 744870

 

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