Patients urged to follow guidance ahead of operations
Patients coming for planned operations at hospitals in Northumberland and North Tyneside are being urged to follow the rules to stay safe and ensure their procedures go ahead.
As elsewhere in the country, Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust requires patients to follow comprehensive social distancing, hand-hygiene measures and self-isolation before arriving at hospital for elective procedures.
The current guidance, necessary due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, is in place to ensure the safety of those patients having surgery as well as staff.
Where patients have not followed the rules, their procedures will not be able to go ahead as planned, resulting in a wasted surgery slot, at a time when the Trust is working incredibly hard to recover following the disruption caused by the pandemic.
Northumbria Healthcare has been one of the best-performing trusts in the country since last March, with a focus on innovation, day case surgery and making the best use of facilities helping to keep waiting lists and times as short as possible.
More than 14,500 procedures or operations have been carried out during the pandemic, however, the pressure on staff, beds and equipment still meant some non-urgent care had to be postponed during what was an unprecedented time for the NHS.
Marion Dickson, the Trust’s executive director of surgery, pictured, said: “Our teams are working as hard as possible to ensure patients can have the procedures they need in as timely a manner as possible, particularly following a period when some will have experienced unavoidable disruption.
“However, we need patients to play their part too and you must follow all of the guidance, which is in place to protect both you and our staff. If you don’t, your procedure will not be able to go ahead as planned, which is a frustrating outcome for all involved.
“While the national rules in relation to social contact have relaxed and there is potential further easing to come later this month, those having elective surgery must self-isolate to avoid unnecessary risks. This is an absolute requirement and patients shouldn’t pop to the shops or see family and friends even for a short period of time.”
Guidance on preparing for planned surgery is provided to all patients in advance of their procedures and the additional coronavirus measures include a strict period of 72 hours of self-isolation and a Covid-19 test before coming in. During the mandatory period of self-isolation, patients are required to remain at home and limit contact to members of their immediate household only.
Ben O’Connell, media and communications officer
Benjamin.O’Connell@northumbria-healthcare.nhs.uk or 07833 046680.