A message for our patients waiting for treatment.

Over the past five months the UK has been responding to the rapid spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus) across the country. As a result hospitals including Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie have had to make some difficult decisions about patient care such as postponing non-emergency operations, outpatient appointments and investigation. This helped us to ensure hospital staff, resources and equipment were available to treat patients who were critically ill with COVID-19, and to avoid putting you at further risk. 

We are very aware of the growing waiting lists that have resulted from this action and are now affecting our patients. Although most services are open to some extent, and others are reopening shortly, it will take time for services to fully re-start. When they do, there are new measures in place to keep you safe including keeping patients apart, testing for Covid-19 and increased cleaning of our wards and clinics. These changes mean that we need more time for each patient and it may take longer than we would normally expect to see you. It is vital that we take these steps to protect you.  

What does this mean for you?

We want to reassure you that you have not been forgotten and we fully recognise that everyone who is on a waiting list is there for an important reason. All of us here at CUH know how hard it can be during the period you are waiting and the current uncertainty is making that difficult. We understand the stress and anxiety this can cause for you and loved ones. If you have a comment or query on this process or our approach please do contact our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). The   team can be reached between 9am – 5pm Monday to Friday on 01223 216 756 or pals@addenbrookes.nhs.uk

As services resume, there is careful consideration of how patients should be prioritised. A large focus of prioritisation will be based on clinical urgency and care is being prioritised for patients who have time-critical conditions. If you are currently on one of our waiting lists, please be assured that we are assessing the risks of the delay you are experiencing. We realise it may 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 you will wait.  We may not currently be able to give an idea of the likely wait however we expect timescales will become clearer over the coming months.

While you are waiting if your health changes or if your symptoms have become much worse, it is important that you let us know so that we can re-assess your condition. If you are waiting for your first outpatient appointment and have not yet been seen by anyone at CUH, please contact your GP to let them know your symptoms have become much worse. If you have been seen by someone at CUH for the condition you have been referred in for, please contact the team who are leading your current care. You may also have new questions about risks and precautions or about coming to hospital at this time. It’s fine to raise questions and discuss any concerns. 

If you no longer require or wish to have treatment,  please contact the team leading your care and we will be able to advise you what will happen next. NHS resources are always in high demand – by letting us know in advance we can give another patient an opportunity to be treated sooner than planned. 

Thank you.

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