One hospital cancels 3,000 appointments a day, can they adapt? – The Yorkshire Post says
First, it’s getting people back to work where possible. Next the need to fully reopen all schools by early September. And then addressing the future of hospital services.
This is no small task after Chris Long, chief executive of Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, confirmed that 3,000 outpatient appointments a day were being cancelled at the height of the pandemic.
A phenomenal number, it has also been replicated at major hospitals across Yorkshire – and the rest of the country – as medical staff battled to both save lives and also minimise the risks to non-Covid patients.
Inevitably, the consequence will be a significant increase in waiting times and priority will, understandably, have to be given to those individuals with serious conditions, like cancer, where early diagnosis is critical.
But it is also clear that the design of many hospitals, GP surgeries and dental practices is simply not compatible with social distancing – or the extra cleaning – now required as a health precaution and that doctors will see far fewer patients in the future.
And it is why the Government needs to work with all NHS trusts to help them come to terms with Covid’s impact on day-to-day care – many consultants anticipate having to see patients in the evening, or at weekends, to make the best use of time and space.
The question is how this can be best achieved when the risk of a second wave of Covid-19 cases is such a real one.
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