Coronavirus: King George Hospital re-configured to restart planned surgeries

King George Hospital is restarting some planned surgeries this week. Picture: Ken Mears

King George Hospital is restarting some planned surgeries this week. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

Elective surgeries are resuming at King George Hospital this week and the antenatal ward has moved to the ground floor to better protect patients.

Barking, Redbridge and Havering University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) re-configured the hospital and moved antenatal services to separate patients returning to the hospital to ensure the area is completely Covid-free.

Due to the nature of the virus, there may be women in the antenatal ward who are not showing any symptoms of Covid-19, but are not guaranteed to be negative.

Starting this week as part of the phased re-introduction of services, patients coming in for planned operations will need to follow strict national guidelines around self-isolation and treating before coming in for their surgery.

BHRUT chief medical officer Dr Magda Smith said: “Due to Covid-19 we had to defer planned surgeries for a number of patients, and unfortunately the continuing threat and impact of this virus means we cannot simply wait for it to pass. Therefore we have restructured a number of our services so that we can begin to reintroduce them safely.

“We have introduced a number of measures including zoning sections of King George Hospital, restricting public access and staff movement, creating new entrances, and increasing patient pre-assessment checks.”

Patients offered a planned surgery appointment will be required to self-isolate for a period of time (dependent on the procedure they are undergoing) before and after their surgery.

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They will also have an antigen swab test, 48 to 72 hours before their surgery and have a temperature check on the day of their procedure.

They will only enter the “green” zone of King George, and they will have their own dedicated entrance and exit.

Staff working with these patients in the green zone will be required to complete a self-assessment and have a temperature check at the start of each shift.

Dr Smith said that through restricting movement and adhering to strict infection prevention and control procedures and carrying out additional pre-assessment patient checks, BHRUT is making the green zone as safe and as Covid-19 free as possible.