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 care and elective procedures
We are seeing patients on our waiting lists for planned care as quickly as possible and in order of clinical need – which is based on an assessment by your clinical team.
If you are a patient and your procedure was postponed or you are waiting for an appointment or a date for treatment, we will contact you directly as soon as we are able.
If you are worried about your health, or if your condition deteriorates, you should contact your GP or call NHS 111 for urgent care.
If you are asked to come to the hospital, please follow these instructions before every visit:
- Complete the Covid-19 checklist before every single visit to the hospital
- Ensure you have followed the self-isolation guidance if you have been asked to do so by your consultant or care team - this will usually be a minimum of 72 hours before your admission date but, in some cases, it may be longer (up to one week)
- Avoid public transport if possible and wear a face mask while travelling, whether you use hospital transport, a family car or a taxi
1. Pre- assessment appointment
Your first assessment for 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 assessment before their surgery or procedure. This could include:
- to see the anaesthetist
- to have a test for common infections, such as MRSA
- to have blood tests or x-rays
- to have other specific tests, such as an ECG
If you are attending for a test or minor procedure, you may be asked by your consultant or care team to self-isolate before you attend.
Read more about pre-assessment for surgery here.
2. Preparing for your procedure or surgery, including self-isolation if required
If you are coming to hospital for a procedure or surgery, we ask that you take extra care in the 10 days before your procedure or surgery. Please follow physical distancing rules (keep a two-metre distance from others), wear a face mask and practise good hand hygiene (wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds each time).
If you are coming to hospital for surgery, diagnostics or a procedure, where you need to stay overnight, you must self-isolate for 72 hours before in line with national guidance:
overnight stay: diagnostics, procedures
72 hours before*
day case under local anaesthetic or sedation for surgery, diagnostics, procedure
72 hours before*
*Please note that, depending on your clinical needs, your clinical team may advise you to self-isolate for longer
If you have had the Covid-19 vaccine, you still need to self-isolate.
How to self-isolate
Self-isolating means you need to stay at home and avoid contact with anyone inside or outside your home. If you need a carer with you they must also follow the self-isolation guidance if required. Please discuss your individual circumstances with your consultant or care team.
Where possible this means that all members of your household should stay at home during this time as well.
If you live with others there are some practical steps you can take. These are:
- staying physically apart as much as possible. Sleeping in separate rooms and using different bathrooms where possible. We do 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
- not using the same towels or crockery and making sure everything has been washed thoroughly before it is used by someone else.
3. Covid-19 testing
Three to five days before your procedure or surgery, you will be booked to come to hospital for a Covid-19 test. This includes people who have had the Covid-19 vaccine.
The test is a simple swab of the tonsils, back of the throat and nose - this can feel uncomfortable but is not painful.
You must continue to self-isolate after this test until your procedure.
These tests are a priority to ensure you are able to have the procedure or surgery you need. If you test positive, we may need to delay your procedure and you will need to self-isolate (for 10 days) in accordance with government guidance. For more information contact your care team.
4. The day of your hospital procedure or surgery
Please ensure you have followed our instructions on preparing to come to hospital - this is very important. If you need to have a carer with you, they should also have been following this guidance, including self-isolation where required, and you should have discussed with your care team in advance.
Please continue to follow all of the infection prevention and control measures in place across our hospitals.
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. 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 you need to visit.
When you get to the treatment area you will be greeted by hospital staff who will take your temperature and confirm your Covid-19 check list.
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 here.
When you are ready to go home
If you have a relative or friend who can collect you from hospital, you should arrange this with them ahead of your discharge date (the date you will leave hospital). Patients with certain conditions or needs will be able to use hospital transport – please speak to ward staff to find out more.
Depending on the nature of your procedure and recovery your consultant or care team may advise you to continue to self-isolate 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.
Are visitors allowed to come into hospital with me?
To keep everyone safe, we are only able to welcome a small number of visitors into our hospitals at the moment. Read our visiting guidance to find out more.
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