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Waiting list

The NHS waiting list is at an almost all time high. The current level has not been seen for over a decade. This is due to the COVID 19 initial peak and resultant cancellation of operations. However, ongoing restrictions on social distancing, need for pre-operative self isolation and lack of COVID light surgical capacity exacerbates the situation.

The private hospitals have helped out with the NHS waiting list. Most private hospitals at present use their facility for NHS 75% of the time and 25% of the time is used for private medical patients.

This creates a waiting list situation even for private patients, the likes of which it has not seen before. Numerous private patients who had their operations cancelled due to the start of the pandemic still have not had their private procedures done.

Most surgeons to date have not been able to clear the backlog of his private patients that were cancelled due to the start of COVID. The Spire Washington hospital like any other private provider has to assign operating list based on clinical priority with cancer cases taking precedence. Therefore patients hoping to have their operations carried out sooner privately will still have to wait. Mr Auyeung expects that for routine operations this will still be a shorter wait than in the NHS.

At present the NICE guidance is that patients should observed strict social distancing and hand hygiene 14 days before surgery. All patients need a COVID swab three days prior to surgery and from the time of the swab patients should essentially quarantine to avoid catching COVID. Some hospital have stuck to the previous recommendation of 14 days self-isolation prior to surgery due to the higher level of COVID infection in the area.

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