Cancer treatments in Birmingham suspended over virus 'pressures'

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image captionQueen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham is among four hospitals the trust manages

A hospital trust has suspended some cancer treatments, including chemotherapy, as a result of pressures caused by coronavirus.

University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust said it was having to "make some difficult decisions".

Staff need to be "deployed effectively" to cope with the pressures caused by the outbreak, it said.

The NHS has published guidance on managing cancer patients in light of coronavirus, the trust added.

It is unclear exactly which treatments and procedures have been suspended.

About 2.2 million patients a year are seen by the trust's four hospitals: Birmingham Heartlands Hospital, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, Solihull Hospital and Good Hope Hospital in Sutton Coldfield.

In a statement, the trust apologised for any cancellation of cancer-related procedures and "the distress it can cause" to patients and relatives.

"However, in view of the pressures posed by coronavirus, the trust is having to make some difficult decisions to allow our staff and resources to be deployed effectively to cope with the current and anticipated pressures," it said.

Last week, all non-essential visits to the trust's hospitals were banned.

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