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Coronavirus
How we're managing our services

Coronavirus

Last updated 28/07/21

We are open and treating patients as normal with additional safety measures in place.

Our vision statement has never been so relevant as it is today – a society where everyone can get access to free or affordable world-class treatment for advanced eye conditions without any unnecessary delay or worry.

Safety is our priority

So, to avoid unnecessary delay we have put in place a number of safety measures so that we can care for the many patients requiring routine treatment for advance eye conditions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are accepting referrals through the normal local CCG channels or directly (if appropriate) by secure email, newmedica.referrals@nhs.net or fax 0207 924 6262.

All new referrals will be clinically triaged, and patients will be contacted to discuss next steps.

Our COVID-19 safety procedures

During this difficult time, we appreciate that many patients may have concerns about their safety when receiving care. So, to avoid unnecessary worry, we have introduced significant changes to the way we treat patients to ensure their safety at all times.

Depending on your eye condition and treatment plan, your pre-operative assessment will now either take place at the service or via a virtual consultation. We operate in standalone clinics away from unwell patients or wards, our dedicated clinics and environments mean we can control the flow of patients, adhere to social distancing guidelines, and ensure our environments are regularly cleaned.

Some examples of our changes in clinic:

  • • Based on NHS guidance, patients attending a surgical procedure will need to self-isolate for 10 days before their surgery date. In some areas, patients may be required to take a PCR test three days prior to their surgery.
  • We will carry out COVID-19 screening with all patients before their face-to-face appointment to ensure they are well enough to attend.
  • We are limiting the number of appointments per day to adhere to social distancing guidelines and we are asking that patients attend alone unless they need someone to assist them.
  • During the visit we will ask patients to keep two metres apart from other people, except from the clinical team who will be delivering their care.
  • Upon entry to our facility we’ll check every patient’s temperature, provide them with hand sanitiser and a face mask.
  • Every member of the Newmedica team will always have appropriate PPE.

A member of the Newmedica team will talk each patient through all requirements before they are asked to attend any face-to-face appointments, so they feel comfortable and safe.

FAQs

  • What is my risk of getting COVID-19?

    While it’s not currently possible to eliminate the risk of catching COVID-19 during your visit, our teams are taking every possible measure to minimise your risk of infection. Our staff have been trained on how to limit the spread of the virus, with additional safety measures including

    • Frequent hand washing
    • Social distancing within our services
    • Regular deep cleaning of our buildings
    • Use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
    • COVID-19 testing for staff where required

    Your surgeon will discuss the benefits and risks of surgery, as part of your shared decision-making, before going ahead with your appointment. This will include consideration of any risk to you from delaying treatment. If you are in a high-risk group for contracting COVID-19, or you have serious underlying medical conditions, it may be suggested that your operation is deferred until later, when it would be safer for you.

  • How should I prepare for my operation?

    What to do if you are offered a new date for your operation

    If you have concerns about the timing of your operation, you should discuss them with your surgeon. You might want to ask about:

    • The benefits and risks of the procedure
    • The risks of catching COVID-19
    • Your risk from any pre-existing medical conditions
    • The possible side effects of the proposed operation
    • Alternative options for treatment, including non-surgical care or no treatment
    • Any further treatment after the operation that may be required and how you can access it

    COVID-19 screening

    Before your operation, you will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days before your surgery date. Anyone who lives with you will need to do the same. In some areas patients may be required to carry out a PCR test three days prior to their surgery.

    Prior to your appointment we will ask you if you have any COVID-19 symptoms such as a high temperature, continuous cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell. If you have any symptoms you will be asked to self-isolate and follow government advice. We will rearrange your appointment once you no longer have symptoms and you’re feeling better.

  • What will happen on the day of my surgery?

    When you arrive at the clinic you will be asked to remain in your car and call the service to inform them that you have arrived. You will be asked whether you have symptoms of COVID-19, such as a high temperature, continuous cough, shortness of breath or loss of taste or smell.

    If you have any symptoms you will be asked to return home to self-isolate and follow government advice. We will rearrange your appointment once you no longer have symptoms and you’re feeling better.

    We ask that anybody accompanying you remains in the car during your appointment. If you do need a carer to support you, please let the service know prior to the day of your appointment.

    Once we know you’ve arrived safely, you will be asked to come to the entrance of the clinic where a clinic assistant will be there to meet you (they will be wearing personal protective equipment).

    They will take your temperature to check whether you have a fever (if you do, they will ask you to return home to self-isolate as this is a sign of COVID-19). If your temperature is normal, the clinic assistant will ask you to sanitise your hands and provide you with a new face covering.

    The face masks you and the staff wear should not stop you from communicating as you normally would, but if you have any difficulty hearing or understanding what is being said through the PPE, please let them know. They might be able to provide alternative ways of communicating with you.

  • What will happen after my operation?

    Once your surgery is completed a nurse will explain what you’ll need to do when you get home. They will then escort you to the reception area where you can call your driver to collect you. You will be asked to sanitise your hands before you leave the clinic. You will also be provided with an emergency number in case you need to speak to someone outside of office hours

    Aftercare and follow-up appointments

    A member of the team will call you the next working day after your surgery to check on your recovery and answer any questions you may have. You will be provided with a follow-up appointment 4-6 weeks after your surgery to ensure your eye has healed. This will most likely be via a virtual consultation online or via your optician.