15 Apr

Bristol dental hospital becomes cancer treatment base

Patients who are receiving treatment for cancer have been advised to attend appointments at Bristol Dental Hospital for the foreseeable future.

The hospital, which is known for providing first-class dental services, has become a temporary base for cancer treatment. 

On April 6th, patients were informed that courses of treatment currently being provided at Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre, South Bristol Community Hospital and North Bristol Concorde Unit would be transferred to Chapter House at Bristol Dental Hospital. Health chiefs informed patients that the move would be temporary.

A decision to relocate cancer care to the dental hospital was taken to free up beds in Bristol’s hospitals and to protect patients who are undergoing cancer treatment. Treatment can weaken the immune system, and health chiefs hope that by moving services, they will lower the risk of cancer patients being exposed to COVID-19. Increasing capacity will also enable NHS staff to treat more people who are hospitalised with Coronavirus. 

Routine and non-emergency dental procedures were called off weeks ago, and the dental hospital has been repurposed to provide alternative services while hospitals are under increased pressure and infection rates are rising. 

Bryony Thomas, a patient who has recently had treatment at the dental hospital having moved from another of the city’s centres, said that it was strange to have chemotherapy while sitting in a dental chair, but agreed that is was a “sensible” measure given the situation. Bryony is undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer, and although she said that it was worrying to have things moved and changed, she stressed that everything was very well-organised and that staff had all the relevant personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Patients whose treatment plans have been affected have been contacted by NHS trusts and the three organisations have also put together a leaflet to outline changes and ensure patients know what to expect when they attend an appointment at the dental hospital. All patients have been advised that they will have their temperature taken on arrival and that anyone who feels unwell should call and rearrange.