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COVID-19 - postponement of non-urgent inpatient operations and outpatient appointments

This article is more than two years old.

As the Chief Medical Officer for England has stated, NHS services nationally are likely to come under intense pressure as COVID-19 (coronavirus) spreads.

Therefore, in line with well-established plans for situations like this, every hospital in England has been asked to suspend all elective (non-urgent) operations from 15 April 2020 for at least three months, with some other procedures likely to be rescheduled before then.

At Oxford University Hospitals we will be:

  • postponing all routine outpatient appointments for adults and children on all of our hospital sites - but we are exploring the possibility of 'virtual clinics' and telephone consultations for outpatients
  • also postponing all routine inpatient elective surgery for adults and children on all of our hospital sites
  • maintaining as normal at present urgent and emergency cases and cancer treatments.

(See the Oxford Kidney Unit website for links to information for our renal dialysis and transplant patients.)

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. We know many people waiting for treatment will be disappointed or worried, and we will be contacting everyone affected as soon as possible.

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 will contact patients as soon as we are able to reschedule both inpatient elective surgery and outpatient elective appointments - patients will be rescheduled according to clinical need and length of wait.

At this time we are unable to estimate when this will be the case, although it will be at least three months depending on national guidance from NHS England.