Please be aware that I have kept a list of all of my patients who, frustratingly, have had to have their orthopaedic operation, under my care, at Springfield/Oaks/Nuffield postponed due to Covid-19. The following applies for both NHS and private patients.
In these uncertain times, once scheduled orthopaedic hip and knee operations are permitted, it will be in a very slow phased return. Patients, irrespective of their wait for surgery, are likely to be prioritised based on their fitness for surgery and their lack of medical conditions.
As you are aware, this terrible virus seems to pick on patients who are vulnerable, ie over 70, overweight, diabetic, immunosuppressed and with lung or heart disease. There is also an ethnicity bias.
To submit such patients to the trauma of an operation, may make matters much worse were they to catch Covid in the immediate post-operative period and thus early on, only the fittest patients are likely to get their operation.
In addition to this, patients will require pre-operative Covid swabbing and they may be required to self-isolate for up to 2 weeks before and indeed after their surgery to minimise developing the virus before or immediately after their operation. This will rely on a great deal of compliance and assistance, not only from an individual patient but also their family members.
Finally, as part of the consent process, which of course outlines all of the usual risks and complications of any operation, patients will be asked to accept the additional and previously not experienced risks of Covid following an operation, which might include Intensive Care treatment or perhaps even something worse. I am attaching a sample Covid consent form.
I am sorry to write to you in such bleak terms but I want to share with you that your care has not been forgotten but we are learning how the Covid virus may impact on orthopaedic surgery as well as all of our lives on a week by week basis. I will supply more information from myself or hospitals I work at in due course.
Please drop me a line to firstname.lastname@example.org rather than telephoning the office if you have any concerns or wish to be taken off the waiting list.
I am available for Virtual Consultation.
Mr M Raghuvanshi FRCS(Tr&Orth)
Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon