Health leaders have set out a series of measures to help local hospitals plan to increase routine operations and treatment, while keeping the necessary capacity and capability to treat future coronavirus patients.
Over the coming weeks patients who need important planned procedures – including surgery – will begin to be scheduled for that care, with specialists prioritising those with the most urgent clinical need.
14 Days Isolation For Patients Before Procedures
But, in line with measures currently in place to protect staff and patients who have been receiving urgent treatment during the pandemic, they will be required to isolate themselves for 14 days and be clear of any symptoms before being admitted. Testing will also be increasingly offered to those waiting to be admitted to provide further certainty for patients and staff that they are COVID-free.
This approach will help to protect patients from potentially catching the virus in hospital, and help staff to ensure they are using the correct infection control measures and protective equipment. Those requiring urgent and emergency care will continue to be tested on arrival and streamed accordingly, with services split to make the risk of picking up the virus in hospital as low as possible.
Those attending emergency departments and other ‘walk-in’ services will be required to maintain social distancing, with trusts expected to make any adjustments necessary to allow this.
As well as the requirements for those needing operations, as many outpatient appointments as possible will be conducted remotely, and those who do need a face to face consultation will be asked not to attend if they have COVID symptoms.
Those requiring a long hospital stay will be continuously monitored for symptoms and re-tested between 5 and 7 days after admission, and those who are due to be discharged to a care home will be tested up to 48 hours before they are due to leave.