COVID-19 pressures force postponement of routine and elective surgery
Significant increase in COVID patients leads to hospital redeploying staff and freeing up resources to deal with pandemic
All routine inpatient and day case elective surgery at the Horton General Hospital and other Oxford University Hospitals is being postponed. The announcement comes following a “significant” increase in the number of virus related patients our hospitals are having to deal with.
The number of COVID-19 positive patients requiring treatment locally is currently twice the peak of the first wave of coronavirus in Spring 2020. This has led to pressure on beds in wards, in intensive care, operating theatres, and with staffing levels.
In the face of this challenge hospital bosses say they must focus on urgent and emergency care for both COVID and non-COVID patients, as well as urgent cancer care.
They will be redeploying some staff to work in areas where COVID-19 positive patients are being treated. They say they are also working closely with their partners in the Oxfordshire health and care system, and further afield.
Despite the difficult situation the Oxford University Hospitals will continue to admit patients in need of urgent surgery that cannot be delayed, including cancer patients.
Currently it is planned that outpatient clinics will continue in both the Horton General and Oxford hospitals and also in the community. However we are warned that capacity is reduced and so we can expect some unavoidable postponements of some outpatient appointments.
Oxford University Hospitals Trust says it will continue to see urgent referrals and 2 Week Wait cancer referrals. Diagnostic services are currently operating as normal and they are asking GPs to continue to refer patients to them in the usual way.
Sara Randall, Chief Operating Officer at Oxford University Hospitals, said: “These measures are necessary so that our staff can prioritise the care of the sickest patients and maintain safe patient care during this unprecedented time for the NHS both locally and nationally.
“We appreciate how frustrating this will be for patients affected and we would like to apologise to them. We know that many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried, and we are contacting everyone affected.
“We have not taken this decision lightly and would like to reassure our patients that we are taking all necessary steps to try to keep any disruption to an absolute minimum.
“We would like to thank our communities for your support and understanding at this hugely challenging time.”
Patients affected will be contacted as soon as the hospital is able to reschedule their planned surgery. The Trust says patients will be rescheduled according to clinical need and length of wait.
Sam Foster, Chief Nursing Officer at Oxford University Hospitals, said: “Please help us to help you by following the lockdown rules in order to protect your local NHS, choose the right healthcare service for your needs, and help us to support your loved ones when they’re ready for discharge from hospital.”
Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam