Coming into hospital for a planned procedure or surgery
There are several stages in your preparation before you can come to hospital for your procedure or surgery. This page explains and provide advice on how to travel to and from the hospital safely when you need to visit for an assessment, test and on the day of your procedure or surgery.
Our hospitals are making changes to ensure you are safe and can be protected when you come in for a surgical procedure. There are several stages in your preparation before you can come to hospital for your procedure or surgery.
This page explains and provides advice on how to travel to and from the hospital safely when you need to visit for an assessment or test and on the day of your procedure or surgery.
Before coming to hospital
If you are asked to come to the hospital, please follow these instructions for every visit:
- Complete the COVID19 checklist before every single visit to the hospital. (This must be done on the same day you are visiting the hospital)
- Ensure you have followed any self-isolation guidance
- Wear a face covering - visitors when in our hospital, including those visiting patients or attending outpatient appointments, will need to wear face coverings
- Avoid public transport, and wear a face covering while travelling, whether you use hospital transport, a family car or a taxi
COVID-19 check list
You will be asked to complete a checklist every time before visit the hospital, whether for an assessment, test or on the day of your procedure.
Preparing for your procedure or surgery
Your first assessment for your procedure or surgery will be a telephone or video call with a hospital specialist.
- If you are booked to come into hospital for a procedure or surgery you will be asked to self-isolate. This is important to help keep you, other patients, and our staff stay safe.
- If a member of your household is accompanying you to the hospital or driving you to the hospital, they must also follow self-isolation guidelines. Where possible all members of your household should stay at home during this time.
You must self-isolate for two weeks (14 days) before you come to hospital for your procedure or surgery if you are:
- staying overnight
- having a general anaesthetic (having surgery while you are not awake)
- having any procedure on your mouth, nose or throat
You must self-isolate for one week (7 days) before you come to hospital for your procedure or surgery if you are:
- coming to hospital for the day and not staying overnight
- having a small procedure while you are awake (this could be an injection, biopsy or investigation)
- having an x-ray, scan and for some tests (you will be told if you need to self-isolate for a test when you have your initial phone assessment)
We will contact you to tell you how long you will need to self- isolate for. This will vary depending on the sort of operation or procedure you are having, and whether you need a general anaesthetic.
If you think you will have difficulty with self-isolation, please discuss this with us so that we can help support you or make any necessary adjustments to your care.
Wherever possible we will ensure you will not need to isolate for more than two weeks in total and any tests, x-rays or scans you need before your procedure are organised as close to your procedure or surgery as possible.
How to self-isolate
Self-isolating means that you stay at home and that you do not have contact with anyone inside or outside your home during the full period of your self-isolation.
Where possible this means all members of your household stay at home during this time too.
If you live with others there are some practical steps you can take:
- staying physically apart as much as possible. Sleeping in separate rooms and using different bathrooms if you can. We recognise that many patients are not able to do this.
- minimising the amount of time you spend in shared spaces such as the kitchen.
- trying to stay at least two metres (three steps) apart
- regularly cleaning, with disinfectant, any surfaces you use a lot, such as kitchen counters
- washing your hands regularly, for 20 seconds each time
- making sure to sneeze or cough into tissues, your elbow, or your sleeve, and throwing away the tissues straight after using them.
- avoiding using the same towels or crockery and making sure everything has been washed thoroughly before it’s used by someone else.
Some patients may be asked to attend hospital in person for a specific investigation or assessment. This could include:
- seeing the anaesthetist
- having an MRSA or similar swabs
- having blood tests or x-rays
- have an ECG or other specific test
If you need to have an appointment in person the reason why will be explained to you. iIf you are coming to hospital for a test or small procedure you may be asked to self-isolate before you come. If this applies to you, the hospital team will let you know.
About three days before your procedure or surgery, you will be booked to come in for a Covid-19 test.
The test is a simple swab of the nose and back of the throat.
When you travel in for your appointment, you should wear a face covering and avoid public transport.
You must continue to self-isolate after this test until your procedure.
These tests are a priority for the hospital to ensure you get the procedure or surgery you need.
You will be called with your result the day before your procedure. If you test positive, we will delay your procedure and you will need to self-isolate for seven days in accordance with government guidance.
The day of your hospital procedure or surgery
On the day of your procedure please follow all the instructions at the top of this page called Before coming to hospital for any appointment.
You may be asked to use a particular car park and hospital entrance, so please check your clinic letter for details on where to go when you arrive.
You will be greeted by hospital staff who will take your temperature and confirm your Covid-19 check list.
Make sure you use the hand sanitiser as you enter the hospital or wash your hands. Please keep on your face covering, in line with government guidance on public spaces.
Make your way to the reception area or clinic if you know where you are going.
Please do not go into any other wards or clinical areas other than those you need to visit. If you have a chaperone or carer who has also been self-isolating they can accompany you to the clinic.
We are sorry but no visitors are allowed in the hospital at this time except in exceptional cases will carers be allowed to remain with you. If you think you may need a carer with you, please discuss this before your visit with the department.
Staying overnight in hospital
If you are staying overnight in hospital following your procedure or surgery, please just bring your essentials. On the ward, all beds are spaced out to make sure you are not too close to other patients. The shower and toilet facilities on the ward will be cleaned after each patient use.
You will need to wear a face covering while on the ward, unless you have a medical oxygen mask and/or a clinician advises you cannot wear a face covering for medical reasons. If at any time you feel anxious about being on the ward, make sure you speak to a member of staff.
We are sorry but visitors are not permitted in the hospital at this time except in exceptional circumstances. Your next of kin will be able to call the ward to find out how you are. Mobile phones and tablets can be used to keep in touch with loved ones, so if you have one of these devices, you can bring it with you. On some wards you will also be able to borrow a device, so if would like to do so, please ask whether this is possible.
When you are ready to go home
We recommend that a friend, carer or family member collects you from the entrance of the hospital. If you need help to get to the entrance to meet them, one of our porters or nursing staff will assist you. Depending on the nature of your procedure and recovery your doctor may advise you to continue to self-isolate for seven days after leaving hospital. This additional period of self-isolation is a precaution as your immune system will be working hard to help your body to recover from the surgery you have had.
If you need any further information about your planned procedure or surgery, please call the number on your hospital letter.
Frequently asked questions
Is it safe to come to hospital while I am shielding?
If you are currently shielding, you may attend your hospital appointments, but please follow the instructions in this leaflet carefully.
Please let the department you are visiting know you are shielding, we advise you let them know at your phone assessment and when you arrive at the hospital.
Are visitors allowed with me?
We are sorry but no visitors are allowed in the hospital at this time. Only in exceptional cases will carers be allowed to remain with you. If you think you may need a carer with you, please discuss this with the department before your visit. For a list of exceptional cases go to our visitor information page.
Will the hospital be busy?
When you attend the hospital there will only be a few patients waiting in waiting areas, it should not be busy.
Will the hospital be cleaned regularly?
All our hospital areas, including those for appointments are cleaned regularly.
Do you need to social distance in hospital?
Yes - please follow social distancing rules when you walk through the hospital.
About this page
- Last updated
- Author Yvonne Boateng