Read our latest advice on Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Coronavirus and Lane Fox Respiratory Service: frequently asked questions

Information for patients

Frequently asked questions

Please see some answers to common questions we have received during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. You can also read our frequently asked questions about attending hospital appointments.

  • I have been referred to the service but I have not heard anything

    We are processing referrals and booking patients for either face-to-face or telephone appointments based on clinical need.

    If you have not heard from us within six weeks of your referral, please contact the department for an update on the timing of your appointment.

    You can read about the steps we are taking to keep you safe when attending the hospital on the staying safe page.

  • I am worried that I might have coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Please call NHS 111 for advice. 

  • I am on medication prescribed by your team and I am not sure if I should stop them

    Do not stop any medication unless specifically told to do so by your clinical team. Please contact us via the methods above if you are not sure. 

  •  I have an appointment soon and I have not heard from you

    We are attempting to contact all patients in advance of your appointment. If you haven't heard from us and your appointment is less than three days away please contact us.


  • I have symptoms that I am worried about

    If the symptoms are related to the condition for which we are seeing you in the Lane Fox Unit and you need specific clinical advice from our team please contact us.

    Email: LaneFoxA&

    Tel: 020 7188 8069

  • My medication is running out and I need a prescription

    If the medication is usually prescribed by your GP contact the surgery. If we usually prescribe your medication, contact us.

    Email: LaneFoxA&

    Tel: 020 7188 8069 (please use email unless your request is urgent). 

    You can also find the latest information and advice on coronavirus (COVID-19) and underlying health conditions on the NHS coronavirus page and coronavirus page.

  • What should I do now shielding has ended?

    We understand that this has been a difficult time for everybody but people who have been asked to shield for the last four months may feel particularly anxious now this has come to an end.

    People are no longer being advised to shield and the government support for shielding will be ending. Coronavirus (COVID-19) has not gone away and the risk of infection remains. However, the rates in the community are much lower than earlier this year and so some cautious steps can be taken.

    The decision to stop shielding is individual and there is not a clear answer as to what everybody should do.

    Some people may wish to continue to implement the same strict rules they have used to remain safe in recent months. However, for some the restrictions to having contact with family, friends and carers has led to a significant reduction in their quality of life. As the risks are currently lower it is reasonable to relax some of the strict measures put in place.

    People should continue to review all contact outside of their care/support bubble and think whether it is necessary, and if so, how it can be conducted to minimise risk (i.e. with social distancing, good hand hygiene and personal protective equipment (PPE) where appropriate).

  • Is it safe for me to attend hospital appointments?

    We understand that people remain anxious about having contact outside the support bubbles they have established. In particular, people may be uncertain about the safety of attending hospital appointments.

    The team at Lane Fox and Guy's and St Thomas' have worked very hard to ensure that attending hospital is as safe as possible with implementation of social distancing and mask wearing throughout the hospital.

  • Should I wear a face covering?

    The wearing of face coverings is being encouraged whenever people are outside of their home and enclosed spaces in particular when social distancing may be difficult. They are required in certain circumstances such as in hospital, on public transport and in shops and supermarkets. You can read the full government advice on face coverings.

    Our advice is that all patients who are comfortable wearing a mask should do so to reduce the risk to others but we are clear that those who are unable to wear a face covering should be able to continue their normal activities in line with social distancing.

    Some people with breathing problems may find wearing a face covering difficult and they are allowed to use public transport or enter other buildings which request face coverings. This is self-declared and no exemption card or medical letter is necessary.

  • Will I have a face-to-face or telephone appointment?

    We are conducting many appointments by telephone and using remote monitoring of some medical devices to maintain clinical reviews without attending hospital.

    However, some testing and assessments can only be done when attending hospital. If you are asked to attend a face-to-face appointment, it is because we feel this is the best way to deliver the care you need.

    Before attending, you will be contacted to check you have not been unwell. If you have any of the following symptoms you should not attend hospital:

    • a high temperature
    • a new or continuous cough
    • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste.

    There will be fewer patients in the department to make sure social distancing is maintained. We are also using the outpatient space at the Lane Fox Remeo Centre at Redhill to increase our ability to see patients whilst maintaining social distancing in the waiting area.

    If you have a face-to-face appointment this may be at St Thomas' Hospital or at the Remeo Centre. The team will contact you by letter and telephone to confirm the time and location of your appointment.

    If you are unsure if you should attend, or where to attend, please call the outpatient team on 020 7188 3434 or 020 7188 3435

  • How do I access Lane Fox services in an emergency?

    The Lane Fox Respiratory Service is committed to continuing to deliver care to our patients throughout the pandemic.

    There are currently strict restrictions on admission to the unit to make sure we are able to minimise the risk to the patients we are caring for.

    This means that patients are unable to be admitted directly to the unit as an emergency.

    There needs to be a period of care in a coronavirus (COVID-19)-negative area and confirmed negative COVID-19 tests prior to admission to the Lane Fox Unit.

    This means that we will need to provide indirect support using the local respiratory and emergency care services. If you need urgent medical attention, please attend your local emergency service and ask the local team to contact the Lane Fox Unit on 020 7188 3434 or 020 7188 3435 for clinical advice and support. This is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. 

  • How do I obtain support from the Lane Fox Respiratory Service during the pandemic?

    It is important that you continue to receive the care you need. Where possible this will be performed remotely but may require attendance at hospital. If you are having difficulties with your mask or machine it is important that you contact the department so we can help resolve the issues.

    For mask, tubing or other replacements, please email or call 020 7188 3434 or 020 7188 3435.

    • For problems with your machine, please call 020 7188 3434 or 020 7188 3435.
    • If you have an urgent device issue, please call 020 7188 3434 or 020 7188 3435.
    • If your device is not functioning and you feel more unwell, please contact your local urgent or emergency services.
  • Should I have a flu vaccination?

    We recommend the flu vaccination to all patients who are not allergic to the vaccine.

    It is more important than ever that this is received in a timely fashion and you should contact your GP if you are not already on the list to receive this annually.

    Patients with chronic respiratory disease should also be vaccinated against pneumonia every five years.