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Patient advice during Covid-19 outbreak – planned admission

During the Covid-19 pandemic, our staff have been working hard to ensure that all patients who need urgent care, not just those with Covid-19, have been able to get it.

We’re still in a pandemic and so our hospitals look and feel different because of the precautions we’ve taken to protect our staff and patients. All staff and visitors must wear face coverings, wash their hands often and maintain social distancing. Staff working in our hospital will be wearing masks, in line with national guidelines. This may look scary at first, but we’re doing everything we can to keep us all safe.

Our aim at Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust is for all patients, carers and families to feel safe, cared for and listened to, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic.

Before you attend your planned surgery

Before your procedure/surgery takes place, our bookings team will contact you to confirm the date and time of your surgery. You may be given a pre-assessment appointment; this is likely to be undertaken over the phone. However, if essential to your care, we may ask you to attend an appointment at one of our hospitals.

The best way to prepare for your surgery is to stay as fit and healthy as possible. This means following the advice given to you by your clinical team.

14 days before and after your operation/procedure you must follow strict social distancing and hand hygiene rules. This is to ensure you’re as fit as possible prior to your operation and have a speedy recovery.

During the 14 days prior to your planned procedure it is important that you follow these steps:

Try to stay at least 2 metres (3 steps) away from anyone you do not live with (or anyone not in your support bubble)
Wash your hands with soap and water often (do this for at least 20 seconds) and as soon as you get home
Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
Wear a face covering / face mask in line with current government guidance

Before your procedure or surgery, you will be asked to attend one of our hospitals for a Covid-19 test. This test is undertaken by swabbing your nose and throat, 72 hours before your planned procedure.

Once you have had your Covid-19 test you will be asked to self-isolate up until you are admitted to our hospitals for your planned procedure.

Self-Isolation means:

Do not go to work, school or public places - work from home if you can
Do not go on public transport or use taxis
Do not go out to get food or medicine - order it online or by phone, or ask someone to bring it to your home
Do not have visitors in your home - including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
Do not go out to exercise - exercise at home or in your garden, if you have one

High-risk patients will be advised to self-isolate for 14 days prior to their procedure/surgery. You will be told by your surgical team if you meet the criteria as a high-risk patient.

Receiving your Covid-19 test results

You will be contacted the day before your planned admission with your Covid-19 test results. The member of staff contacting you will also check that you have no symptoms of Covid-19 infection at that time.

A negative test result will mean you will be able to continue with the procedure as planned. You should attend the hospital on your planned date and time and continue self-isolation.

A positive test result will mean that you will have to continue self-isolation, following government advice. Please do not attend the hospital for your procedure / surgery. You will also be asked to contact your surgical team to discuss how to continue your care whilst in isolation. Your surgical team will discuss with you how and when your procedure will be able to be undertaken. This will involve some delay to your procedure taking place.

Please do not attend the hospital if you haven’t received your swab result but do continue to follow your pre-operative instructions until you have been told otherwise.

Please be aware that should the local prevalence of Covid-19 infection rise we will return to asking patients to self-isolate for 14 days prior to admission. Expectations and requirements for this will be explained to you if this should happen.

Traveling to and from our hospitals

If you are able, please use private transport to come to our healthcare sites. If someone is driving, you please ask them to remain in the car. If you require assistance a carer may accompany you. Please try to avoid the use of public transport, but we understand that you may have no alternative. Please discuss this with our staff when they contact you.

Admission to hospital for your planned surgery / procedure

You will be admitted to an area of our hospital where we are not caring for patients who have, or we suspect might have Covid-19. These patients are cared for in dedicated areas, so the right infection control measures are in place for them. To keep everyone as safe as we can, we are currently not allowing visitors for our planned surgery/procedure patients. You can bring your own electronic devices such as mobile phones and tablets to keep in touch with your loved ones.

Some of our patients are having operations/procedures in private hospitals, paid for by the NHS and using NHS doctors. We will tell you if your operation/procedure is going to happen at a private hospital.

Discharge – being sent home

You will be discharged from hospital as soon as your clinical team have agreed that you are now able to return home or to another place of care. It is our priority to ensure that you are discharged safely from hospital and to the most appropriate care setting. You may be asked to self-isolate at home for a few more days to reduce your chance of catching Covid-19.