The problem of patients being told that they will not be receiving their injections due to the risk of spreading the Covid-19 virus has been the sole topic in telephone calls and emails to the society in the past two weeks. We are working hard to help our members in these difficult times. Two weeks ago, the Chairman of the society wrote to the Chief Medical Officers and the relevant Ministers for Health in each of the constituent countries in the UK, pointing out that the injections were not a cosmetic treatment but were required to prevent nerve damage or worse from happening.
There have been some developments in the last few days in relation to this issue.
Public Health Division of the Welsh Government reply
We have received a reply from the Public Health Division of the Welsh Government re-assuring us that stocks of vitamin B12 injections are not affected by the current situation with COVID-19, and that when a patients has made an appointment, an assessment needs to be made on the day to determine whether the patient has any of the symptoms of infection. Where appropriate vitamin B12 will be supplied, but because of the current situation it may be that the interval needs to be extended, bearing in mind that the virus is spreading so quickly and front-line medical staff have to be protected. We have yet to hear from the Health Departments in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
If you do have the symptoms of Covid-19, or are in isolation because you are in a high-risk group, and consequently have to wait for an injection please read the following information: Information for patients whose surgery or health centre has closed or is no longer providing injections due to Covid-19.
Report on how patients can be treated
The second development involves one of our members who is a Pharmacist. She has been commissioned by a Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to produce a report on how patients can be treated because of the current health climate. She has contacted this society and we have provided her with much information and put her in touch with our research partners.
Managing Pernicious Anaemia in the time of Corononavirus
Dr. Rietsema has written a short article for doctors where she outlines the problems faced by our members and suggests alternative treatments:
Managing Pernicious Anaemia in the time of Corononavirus – What can GP surgeries do when there simply is not the time or staff to deal with routine injections?
Finally, we have been forced to postpone all Support Group Meetings and Training Days for Telephone Helpline Volunteers and Prospective Support Group Leaders. It is unlikely that these will go ahead before September.
We will update this article if there are any further developments.