Urgent planned care has restarted at the Royal Free London

12 June 2020

Urgent planned care is restarting across North Central London this month, following a reduction in activity to allow health and care teams to support the increased demand for services during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We are committed to providing safe care for all of our patients and we have reorganised how some of our care is delivered to make sure we can continue to deliver urgent planned treatment safely during the pandemic.

We are managing the risk of infection to make sure that patients coming into hospital for urgent planned care, and staff working in hospitals, will be as safe as possible.

Steps being taken include:

  • Separating or physically distancing as much as possible, where we care for patients who have tested positive for coronavirus or who may have symptoms of coronavirus, and where patients are being treated for urgent planned care.
  • We are following national guidance for infection prevention and ensuring staff and volunteers are trained in how to limit the spread of infection in hospitals.
  • Hospital theatres, equipment and wards are deep-cleaned regularly, in line with national guidance.
  • The right levels of staffing and equipment – including personal protective equipment – will be in place so that planned care can take place safely.

Due to the on-going response to COVID-19, and the need to be prepared for further peaks in demand for services, hospitals are not in a position to reintroduce all planned care. We will be prioritising services based on the greatest need and most urgent patient requirements.

Patients will be contacted by their service/healthcare team if they have been identified as needing an urgent appointment.

This means some services may be temporarily delivered in different locations, and your treatment might be in a different place to where you were expecting. We may also offer you a virtual appointment where suitable. You may also see a different clinician or surgeon for your treatment than you expected. It may also mean that we may need to move your appointment or surgery date. We will always give you as much notice as possible of any changes.

We are now contacting patients who have been identified as high priority to invite them for their treatment or procedure, and advising them of the risks involved and also the measures we are putting in place to reduce these.