2 Before the planned care

2 Before the planned care

2.1 Before planned surgery, give patients timely health and wellbeing advice (for example, patient resources from the Centre for Perioperative Care) about the things they can do in preparation (for example, exercising, avoiding alcohol and stopping smoking) to help them recover more quickly and make complications less likely if they get COVID‑19. Follow the relevant NICE guidance on lifestyle and wellbeing.

2.2 Advise patients that their planned care may be brought forward if local services operate a stand-by list (see recommendation 4.1).

2.3 Explain to patients that their planned care is likely to be postponed if they:

  • test positive for SARS‑CoV‑2

  • have symptoms of COVID‑19

  • are not clinically well enough or

  • need to self-isolate after contact with someone with COVID‑19 (for example, as identified by the NHS Test and Trace system).

    If their planned care is postponed, they should also ask their hospital specialist team as soon as possible about rescheduling it.

2.4 Explain to patients (and families and carers as appropriate) what they can and cannot bring with them. This will depend on the type of planned care they are having (such as clothes for an inpatient stay, and a mobile phone or tablet to have contact with family, carers or friends).

2.5 Explain to patients (and families and carers) about the social-distancing and good hygiene measures that will be needed to prevent the spread of SARS‑CoV‑2 before, during and after their planned care. Follow UK government guidance on staying alert to stay safe.

2.6 If safe patient transport services are not available, advise patients to use private transport to and from the planned care setting if possible. If this is not possible, then advise patients using public transport to follow UK government advice on travel.