Our highest priority is providing safe care. COVID-19 means we have to work differently and you have to prepare differently.

Is it safe?

Understanding the risks and benefits of surgery

Since the COVID-19 outbreak the risks of undergoing surgery have increased. In addition to the usual risks and benefits of an operation, it is important that you understand the specific risks associated with COVID-19 and that you also take certain precautions as recommended by your medical team.

Even though we are not treating COVID-19 patients in the Woodland’s Suite or at ROH, you could still come into contact with a person carrying the virus (as you could in the supermarket or any public indoor space). While we are taking every precaution possible, and instructing patients to self-isolate and be tested before admission, there is still a risk of contracting COVID-19.

The risks of surgery when COVID-19 positive

We are still in the early stages of understanding the virus and its impact on surgical outcomes. Some reports indicate that if you have an operation while COVID-19 positive or develop COVID-19 while recovering, there is a significant risk that you could end up being ill enough with the virus to need a ventilator on an intensive care unit. There is a risk of death if this happens. Some evidence suggests that the risk of death in certain patient groups who develop COVID-19 around the time of having surgery may increase to 35%. We will continue to gather evidence and improve our understanding of the risks.

The precautions we are taking

Although the risks of surgery with COVID-19 are increased, we are taking every precaution possible to reduce risks:
  • Every patient will self-isolate for two weeks before they are admitted
  • Every patient will be tested for COVID-19 twice; four days before their admission then two days before their admission
  • Staff will be tested and monitored and will comply with rigorous infection prevention measures
  • The environment in our hospital has been redesigned to support compliance with social distancing and infection prevention
  • We are running a 24/7 cleaning schedule with particular attention to high traffic areas

Your choice

Surgery is your choice and always has risks and benefits associated with it. You can decide whether to proceed with your surgery, or delay it and discuss alternative treatment options.

How we are working differently

We have made significant changes to how we work to ensure we offer the safest services we can.

Navigators and Entry points

When you arrive, you will be greeted by a navigator. This person will explain what you need to do and where you need to go. They will ensure that restrictions are maintained and you are supported.

Social distancing

The Woodlands Suite and the entire ROH site are marked for social distancing so it’s easy for you to maintain a 2 metre distance. We have also removed all non-essential equipment and furniture to improve easy movement around the site.

Hand washing stations

Hand washing is an essential part of reducing the risk of infection. We have made it easy to sanitise your hands with stations all over the Trust that are clearly marked.

Personal protective equipment

When you visit us you will be provided with a face mask to help protect you and others in the hospital. 

Our staff members have access to all the necessary PPE they need to keep themselves and their patients safe.

Planning your visit (patients)

Find out all you need to know about planning your visit.

Planning your visit (visiting a patient)

Find out all you need to know about visiting a patient.

Useful information and advice

The main symptoms of COVID-19 (coronavirus) are:

high temperature

this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)

new, continuous cough

this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)

loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.

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