The NHS have been keen to communicate that they are “Open for Business” for all patients, not just those with Coronavirus. Here’s their latest update:
During the coronavirus pandemic, NHS staff have been working hard to ensure that all patients who need urgent care – not just those with coronavirus – have been able to get it. To avoid unnecessary contact, some non-urgent appointments and surgeries have been postponed and others delivered differently using technology.
The NHS will continue to ask patients to attend face-to-face services only when it is really necessary, and where it can be done safely without putting patients, the public or staff at greater risk of catching coronavirus. Where possible, appointments will continue to be offered using remote services such as a video or phone consultation.
What does this mean for me?
If you need to attend a hospital for planned (non-emergency) care, you will be asked to take some steps to ensure everyone’s safety.
Admissions (including day surgery):
You and your household will be asked to isolate at home for 14 days prior. You may be asked to complete a test within 72 hours before going to the hospital. If these steps aren’t possible, your care team may decide to reschedule your admission. This will be determined by your care team using clinical judgement and in consultation with you. Admissions team will give you all the information you need when booking you in.
You should only attend your outpatient appointment if you have no symptoms of coronavirus. Remember to comply with normal social distancing requirements while at the hospital or service.
Currently shielding because you are at high risk of coronavirus complications?
Extra protection will be put in place and discussed with you in advance.
If you start to show coronavirus symptoms or test positive while in hospital, you will be immediately isolated.
Returning to a Care Home
If you are going to a care home or hospice after being in hospital you will be tested for coronavirus before you leave hospital. If the result of the test is positive, the care home will make arrangements to prevent the virus from spreading to other residents or staff, following national guidance.
All planned care is subject to developments in the response to the coronavirus pandemic and appointments may need to be rescheduled.