Patients urged to keep essential diagnostic appointments

People living in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent are being urged to attend hospital appointments at UHNM for essential diagnostic scans and tests following steps to introduce more services back into its hospitals.

UHNM cancelled all non-urgent outpatient and diagnostic appointments at the start of the pandemic to ensure the safety and quality of our services for all patients. This was to ensure Royal Stoke University Hospital and County Hospital, Stafford had the resource and capacity to deliver care to the increasing number of patients being admitted with Covid-19 (coronavirus) at that time.

Paul Bytheway, Chief Operating Officer, said:  “We have continued to provide urgent care and cancer services where we have safely been able to do so and have asked patients to attend hospital only when it is really necessary.

“We have now started to gradually bring back some services, including diagnostic tests, but only where that can be done safely and limits the transmission of coronavirus and respects social distancing.

He added: “We have carried out 17,045 tests in June 2020 compared to 13,980 in May 2020 and would like to assure our patients that we have established infection prevention measures in place, including being the first Trust in the UK to install thermal imaging cameras in our imaging department and other outpatient areas, all to help limit the risk of spreading coronavirus and it is important that patients attend their appointments.”

“All patients and visitors to our hospitals are also be required to wear face coverings, maintain social distancing and regularly wash hands or use anti-bacterial hand gel in order to protect themselves as well as our staff and other visitors to the hospital.”

Lauren, who attended the breast clinic recently, said: “I was anxious about attending the hospital during these times, but I felt at ease the moment I stepped into the main entrance. I attended wearing a face covering as requested and once booked in, I sat in the clinic waiting area. Chairs had been taped off to ensure safe distancing between all patients and relatives were asked to wait in the main corridor – so I never once felt at risk. I didn’t have to wait long until I was taken through to a second waiting area, which worked as a filter room for those going in to see the consultant. Again the chairs were taped and distancing was still adhered too. The staff I saw were very friendly and comforting, and both were wearing full PPE – so again I felt reassured and safe.”

Pamela, who came in for a CT scan recently, said: “I felt safe when I came into hospital. There was hand gel at the entrance, all reasonable precautions had been taken in the department and the CT team were excellent.”

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