Important information for patients and visitors about the coronavirus (COVID-19)
The NHS in the region and Public Health England (PHE) are well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring essential services remain available to the public.
Cancellation of elective (planned) procedures and outpatient clinics
NHS services are likely to come under intense pressure as the coronavirus spreads and we need to ensure that we have as many beds available as possible to care for patients with severe respiratory problems when the number of infections peaks.
We have already had to review much of our elective (planned) care and have been directly contacting patients affected. The Chief Medical Officer has asked all hospitals in England to suspend all non-urgent elective operations from 15 April for at least three months, and some other procedures are likely to be rescheduled as we adapt our resources.
Urgent and emergency care and cancer treatments will carry on as normal, but we know many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried, and we will be contacting everyone affected as soon as possible.
Many of our outpatient clinics are also being postponed or rearranged as telephone consultations. This will also reduce infection risk for patients and staff from direct contact.
Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading.
For the latest advice from the NHS please visit their website:
What to do if you have coronavirus symptoms:
Continue to stay at home if you have either:
- a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
- a new, continuous cough – this means you've recently started coughing repeatedly
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Stay at home.
Use the 111 online coronavirus service
If you need medical help for another reason, and advice for people at high risk can be found on the NHS website.