With the lifting of the level 5 lockdown we have reopened our rooms for face-to-face consultation with patients. We will also continue to do telephonic consultations where appropriate. This is however not “business as usual”. We have taken every precaution possible to minimise the risk of spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Our consultation times have been spread further apart to minimise the number of patients in the waiting room. We have installed screens and all staff wear masks or visors. We have removed chairs covered with material which is not easily cleanable and wipe down furniture and surfaces between patient consultations. All patients are also required to go through a screening process as they enter the hospital. We have introduced online registration and preoperative assessment forms which need to be filled out prior to any consultation. This minimises contact between staff and patients.
Patients do still need to be aware that there is a risk when attending medical facilities. In particular older patients with other medical problems may be at higher risk of developing a more severe infection.
Decisions regarding indications for surgery at this time are made on a patient by patient basis. This takes into account the risks to the patient and the availability of operating theatre time and resources in the hospital. All hospital groups have now introduced mandatory testing for Covid-19 for all acute and booked admissions requiring surgery. These tests should be done within 72 hours of admission. Patients are also required to self isolate for seven days prior to admission.