HOSPITAL patients are urged to keep their surgery dates and keep attending appointments.
Today, the Royal Berkshire Hospital revealed that low numbers of people turning up for allotted clinic slots or operations that were put on hold during the pandemic.
In one recent case, 200 people waiting for cataract surgery were contacted and told there were slots free — but only three took up the offer.
And doctors are worried people with potentially life-threatening illnesses like cancer, heart disease and stroke symptoms, are also staying away.
Steve McManus, chief executive of the Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are now almost a covid-free hospital with just seven positive patients being treated here at the moment.
“We’ve implemented major safety procedures to make sure our patients and staff are as protected as possible and we are very anxious that people who do need to come here for treatment do so.
“Our staff have been tested for covid, we have strict social distancing rules in place, clinical rooms are thoroughly cleaned after each patient has been seen, everyone is wearing a mask or face covering, hand sanitisers are in place around the site, new rules on using the lifts are in place – everything possible has been done and I can reassure people they are in very safe hands when they come here.”
People booked in for an operation must self-isolate for 14 days along with the rest of their household.
And when they are called in for a swab before their surgery, they are advised to avoid public transport — as this effectively takes them out of the 14 day isolation period.
For more information, visit: www.royalberkshire.nhs.uk