CPOC publish new FAQs for patients having an operation during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published: 18/05/2020

The Centre for Perioperative Care (CPOC) has today published a new FAQ document aiming to address the concerns that patients may have about going to hospital during the COVID-19 pandemic and offer advice on how best to prepare for an operation.

The series of FAQs take patients through the surgery journey in the time of COVID-19. This includes what hospitals are doing to protect patients, lifestyle changes patients can make, questions to ask the hospital and how recovery will work. 

Dr David Selwyn Director of The Centre for Perioperative Care: “The release of the NHS England framework for returning to urgent and planned surgery marks the beginning of a measured resumption of non-COVID-19 NHS services. This is likely to be a slow and lengthy process and as the Royal College of Anaesthetists warned in their joint strategy document, hospitals should not be returning to planned surgery until sufficient resources are in place. However, it is never too early for patients to begin preparing themselves both physically and mentally, as well as ensuring they are involved in true-shared decision making regarding their treatment. Small changes can make a big difference.

“Whilst hospitals will be doing everything they can to minimise the risk to patients from Covid-19, there will still be understandable anxiety. Preparing is not all about the operation itself, and patients should feel empowered to take charge of their own treatment working with their healthcare professionals and others to decide what works best. Surgery may not always be the answer and weighing up the benefits, risks and alternatives is an important step.

“During these unprecedented times I appreciate that patients may not feel they are in control of their own health. These FAQs should provide patients with some reassurance, knowing there are ways they can prepare for their treatment ahead.”