FORCE Cancer Charity has announced the temporary closure of our Support and Information Centre in Exeter.
The charity will continue to offer telephone and video call support to local people affected by cancer.
The decision to close our 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 weekly outreach centres in Okehampton, Tiverton and Honiton were also stopped with immediate effect but chemotherapy treatment will continue as normal in all three towns for now.
People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy may be among those at particular risk from Coronavirus.
The full statement from the charity reads:
“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/Covid19 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 regular basis.
FORCE Cancer Charity would like to thank everyone for their understanding at this difficult time.”
The numbers you need
FORCE Cancer Nursing Team: 01392 406151
Psychological and emotional support: 01392 406168/406169
FORCE has also closed its charity shop in Heavitree until further notice.
Updates will be available on the FORCE website.