Planned procedures and surgery
We have changed the way we run our hospitals in response to Covid-19, so that we can manage any surge in demand and continue to keep all of our patients, visitors and staff safe.
Planned procedures and surgery
If you are a patient and your procedure or surgery was postponed during the pandemic or you are waiting for an appointment or a date for treatment, we will contact you directly as soon as we can.
Before your appointment
To minimise your risk of getting Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses before your procedure or surgery, try to limit your contact with people outside of your household in the 2 weeks leading up to your appointment. If you have to meet people, try to meet outside or somewhere with good ventilation.
Your first assessment before your procedure or surgery will be either a telephone or video call with your consultant or care team.
Some patients may be asked to come to hospital for a specific investigation or test before their procedure or surgery. This could include:
- to see the anaesthetist
- to have tests to see if they carry specific bacteria, such as MRSA
- to have blood tests
- to have specific tests such as an ECG or an x-ray
If you need to come to hospital, we will explain why and provide information about how to prepare for your pre-assessment appointment.
Covid-19 testing before your procedure or surgery
All patients must do a lateral flow test at home within 24 hours of their appointment and complete the Covid-19 checklist. This includes patients who:
- need to do a PCR test 3 days before their procedure or surgery date, as advised by their care team
- are fully vaccinated
Ordering a lateral flow test
As soon as you receive the date for your procedure or surgery, please go online to order your test or ask someone to do this for you.
Please tick the box in the online order form to say that your clinician has asked you to do a lateral flow test before your hospital appointment.
Call 119 if:
- you cannot use the online service or don’t have anyone who can support you to do this
- you don’t have an email address
- your test pack does not arrive within 5 days of ordering
SignVideo is a free online British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter service for 119.
Blind and low-vision people can use the Be my Eyes app to get visual help with Covid-19 testing.
If you’ve been given an appointment at very short notice
If we’ve offered you an appointment at very short notice, for example, in less than three days’ time, we will explain how you can get a lateral flow test before your appointment when we call you.
Reporting your result
Please report your result on the government website. You can also report your result by calling 119.
You will need to show us the email or text confirming your result when you arrive in hospital.
If you test positive for Covid-19 or develop symptoms
If you test positive for Covid-19 or develop symptoms, please do not come into hospital but call the ward number on your appointment letter for further advice.
Coming into hospital for your procedure or surgery
- Check your clinic letter for details on where to go when you arrive. If you are not sure where to go, please ask for help or directions from the staff at the hospital entrance or the receptionists
- Please do not go into any other wards or clinical areas other than those where you have a booked appointment
- When you arrive at the department, hospital staff will greet you and ask to see your lateral flow test result
Can I bring someone with me to my appointment?
Please visit the Trust website for the latest visiting guidance.
Staying overnight in hospital
If you are staying overnight in hospital following your procedure or surgery, please only bring essentials with you.
Find out more about staying overnight in hospital.
We aim to provide patients with same-sex accommodation. However, at very busy times, some of our wards have had to become mixed-sex, although we always try to keep individual bays as same-sex and ensure privacy at all times. The decision to change some wards to mixed-sex wards has been carefully considered – patient and staff safety remains our priority at all times. If you are worried about this, please speak to a member of staff.
When you are ready to go home
We recommend that a friend, carer or relative 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 can support you.
Depending on the type of procedure you had and your recovery, we may advise you to self-isolate after leaving hospital. This period of self-isolation is a precaution as your immune system will be working hard to help your body recover from the procedure or surgery you have had.
My Planned Care digital platform
If you or a family member are waiting for hospital treatment at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, you can now access the NHS My Planned Care digital platform which provides the latest average waiting times across all NHS trusts.
Our clinicians prioritise all patients waiting for care according to individual clinical need. Waiting times will be different for different people, even those with the same condition. If you require urgent care, you will be seen more quickly.
The platform also provides helpful advice and support while you are waiting, including details on how to manage any pain, your mental health, keeping healthy and accessing financial help and other local support. It can also help you to prepare for your care, including how to make a plan for your care and treatment alongside your healthcare professional.
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