Have things changed with this Lockdown?
The New Year has brought with it New Strains of COVID-19.
2021 brings with it vaccines. Immunisation of our nation will necessitate lockdowns and social distancing for foreseeable future. This is to protect our most vulnerable loved ones.
The NHS continues to struggle, and winter does not help.
The NHS has taken the difficult decision to postpone or cancel many non-emergency and non-urgent operations.
Unfortunately, certain specialties, including Orthopaedics, will inevitable see their patient experience additional significant delays to their management.
As a patient you will be naturally concerned that you don’t now know when your operation will take place. This may become clearer in the next 6-12 weeks.
Waiting time in both the NHS and Private Sector have risen significantly.
What is different this time, is that the Private Sector remains open. However capacity for Private Operations is reduced as a substantial proportion of theatre time has been given to the NHS to help ease pressures on Urgent Surgery, such as cancer surgery, which had been delayed as a result of the last lockdown.
Here are the answers to the top questions patients have about this lockdown:-
Yes. The Private Sector Hospitals and Clinics operate strict 'Green' Pathways. All patients coming in the the facility are screened.
All patients being admitted for a scheduled procedure in theatre has to follow strict social distancing and isolation rules, and are tested for COVID-19 before admission.
Yes. I am registered as a Fee Assured Consultant with all the major health insurance companies. My team will help guide you through the process of using your health insurance provider to have your consultation and treatment with me.
No. Some Insurance companies require that you have a referral from a GP to be seen by a specialist. My team can help you with this. If you are funding your consultation and treatment yourself, I am happy to see you without referral.
No. It is going to take some months before everyone has had their vaccine. Until then, social distancing measures and tier restrictions will continue.
To ensure that you are able to get your procedure when is convenient to you, this requires more time for planning than previously.
By having a your consultation sooner, this will ensure that conservative can be optimised and give you more flexibility to plan for a procedure should it become necessary.
Yes. There are an increasing number of people who are transferring to the Private Sector because they are worried about going into the NHS. The NHS remains dedicated to delivering healthcare for all. The majority of hospitals have segregated services into 'Red' or CVOID and 'Green' or COVID-FREE pathways, where patients have been tested and confirmed negative. There are also 'Amber' pathways, where patients are asymptomatic, awaiting test results. All the Private Facilities where I work, have remained 'Green' COVID-FREE' facilities.
No. Surgeons from all specialties, have spent a significant amount of time reviewing their waiting list to identify patients that need life-saving procedures that cannot wait.
All of their other patients have been identified and kept on the in-patient waiting list.
Possibly. Many of the Private Sector Hospitals in the UK have offered to help the NHS with some of the most urgent patients, such as cancer operations. This means that there is a reduction in the availability of theatre time for Private procedures.
Private Hospitals are working closely with Surgeons to try to ensure patients procedures are performed as soon as possible. However this is being done based on clinical priority.
My team are here to guide you through what will happen next.
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