A message for our patients waiting for treatment.
Non-urgent advice: Received a letter from us?
We are writing to every patient who is waiting for treatment (including appointments and diagnostic tests) at our hospitals for longer than we would normally expect.
If you have questions relating to this, follow our guidance below.
Our aim is to be here for you if you do contract Covid-19 and require hospital care, but also to treat you and your family safely for your other health conditions while this pandemic continues.
You can read about the number of steps we are taking to keep you safe in hospital.
Waiting times for treatment (including appointments and diagnostic tests)
During the peak of Covid-19 in the spring and early summer of this year, we had to make the difficult decision to delay some less urgent treatments, including some surgery. Although most services are now open, some are running more slowly due to ongoing Covid-19 restrictions and waiting times for treatment have increased. The pause we experienced earlier in the year caused a backlog of patients that we are working through as quickly as we can.
If you or a loved one are waiting for treatment
We want to assure you that you haven’t been forgotten and we know that everyone who is on a waiting list is there for an important reason. We understand the stress and anxiety that delays can cause.
We are managing our waiting lists so that patients who are most at risk from a delay in diagnosis or treatment are seen first. If you’re currently waiting, we will be assessing the risk of the delay you are experiencing. Everybody who has waited longer than we would normally expect to will receive a letter explaining what to do if you’re worried or if your condition is getting worse. Again, our website has more information.
The likely waiting times for patients needing tests or treatment with us will become clearer over the coming months. Of course we do recognise that it will be very frustrating and disappointing if you started the waiting list with an idea of when you might be treated, but now you don’t know how long your wait might be.
Concerns about your health condition?
If your health changes or you become worried about worsening symptoms, who you contact will depend on the type of appointment you’re waiting for.
First outpatient appointment
If you are waiting for your first outpatient appointment and have not yet been seen by anyone at our hospitals, please contact your GP to let them know if your symptoms have become worse.
Follow up outpatient appointment
If you have already been seen by someone at our hospitals and are waiting for a follow-up appointment, please contact the team at the hospital who are caring for you to let them know if your symptoms have become worse.
If your GP has referred you for a diagnostic appointment, such as a scan or x-ray, please contact your GP to let them know if your symptoms have become worse. If someone at our hospitals has referred you for a diagnostic appointment, such as a scan or x-ray, please contact the team at the hospital who are caring for you to let them know if your symptoms have become worse.
Surgery or outpatient procedure
If you are waiting for surgery or an outpatient procedure please contact the team at the hospital who are caring for you if your symptoms become worse.
If you feel you no longer need or wish to have treatment
If you feel you no longer need or wish to have treatment please contact the team caring for you at our hospitals and we will discuss this with you and advise on next steps.
Your questions and comments
If you have a comment or question about our approach please contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). The team can be reached between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday on 01223 216756 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would also be grateful for feedback on your experience of receiving care at our hospitals – please complete our survey at https://www.cuh.nhs.uk/waitingtimessurvey.
Your health matters a huge amount to us and we look forward to getting you on the road to recovery as quickly as possible.