As the numbers of COVID-19 cases continues to fall North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust has made the decision to start routine operations again.
In partnership with some high quality independent sector partners outside the county patients, whose surgery had to be cancelled because of the pandemic, will now be invited to have their operation.
All operations will be carried out in non COVID areas and the independent hospital who are supporting the Trust have not been exposed to COVID-19 patients.
Rod Harpin, interim medical director of north Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Trust explained how important it is that people who need their operation receive their care as agreed with their specialist: “We are extremely happy to announce that we are able to begin to start our operations again. Thanks to the reduction in COVID 19 rates in hospital and the community we are able to do this completely separate from any COVID areas of our hospitals. We are contacting people who are the most urgent first and are extremely grateful to our partners for their support in making sure we can provide care to as many patients as possible and reduce any further delay in our patient’s treatments.”
The capacity to undertake routine operations in the Trusts two main hospitals remains very much reduced due to COVID-19 and therefore the Trust has been able to access the skills and expertise of independent providers outside the county. Independent hospitals in Blackpool, Blackburn, Preston, Newcastle and South Tees are supporting the Trust to ensure our patients with the most urgent need are prioritised. Each of these hospitals are COVID free.
Rod added: “We know that people will be nervous about coming in for their operations but I want to make clear that if we have written to you it is because we feel your case is urgent. Please do not delay. Some people may also be worried about travelling for their operations and I can reassure anyone who is invited to have their operation somewhere other than north Cumbria that it is safe and it is because we feel that it is the best and most expedient way we are able to support you.”
A wide range of operations covering a lot of disciplines will be undertaken at both the Cumberland Infirmary and also at West Cumberland hospital.
Patients will need to self-isolate for 14 days before their operations to make sure that we keep the pathway COVID free. They will be tested for COVID-19 as part of the pre operation check.