NHS Scotland placed on emergency footing
Non-urgent elective care to be postponed.
Non-urgent elective care will be postponed in Scotland as part of NHS Scotland’s ongoing preparations for coronavirus (COVID-19).
Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Health Secretary Freeman said that NHS Scotland would be moving to an emergency footing for at least the next three months, in order to be ready to face a substantial and sustained increase in coronavirus cases.
Ms Freeman said the decision to postpone all non-urgent elective care had been made to free up capacity in hospitals, while work to double Scotland’s intensive care capacity continues as NHS Boards retrain staff and repurpose existing facilities.
Ms Freeman yesterday said:
“We have been clear from the outset about the challenges our health service will face in the weeks and months to come from coronavirus.
“While our NHS is prepared and has a proven track record of dealing with these types of outbreak, we want to free up capacity in our hospital settings, and ensure access to beds for those who need them.
“That’s why we have asked boards to start scaling down non-urgent elective operations from now until further notice.
“Vital cancer treatments, emergency, maternity, and urgent care will continue, and patients have our assurance that all appointments will be rescheduled as quickly as possible as we get through the challenge to our NHS that COVID-19 presents.
“While these are undoubtedly difficult times, we fully expect our NHS to ensure patients are treated in line with their clinical priority, and the impact of COVID-19 on cancer patients has been a priority in all of our planning.”
Parliamentary Statement: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update to Scottish Parliament
- Non-urgent elective activity includes procedures that are non-life threatening and can be postponed without a negative clinical impact, such as elective gallbladder and hernia surgery, non-trauma orthopaedic surgery such as hip and knee operations, and elective gynaecological operations.
- Contingency planning for the supply of oxygen both in hospital and in the community is in place, and a further 450 new standard concentrators for use in the community have been ordered.
- The Scottish Government is working closely with COSLA, Health and Social Care Partnerships and Chief Officers to see a reduction of delayed discharges of 400 by the end of March.
- A national cancer treatment response group has been established to provide ongoing advice and support around cancer treatments, and ensure all appropriate measures are undertaken in the present situation to protect those living with cancer.
- The NHS will directly contact people who are immunosuppressed next week and work closely with other social services to ensure they are supported.
- Surveillance testing is being scaled up to monitor the spread of the virus in the community.
- Monitoring will also continue through our laboratories and will be targeted on the following further groups:
- admissions to hospital;
- admissions to intensive care;
- community testing dependent on circumstances, for example specific situations such as a nursing home outbreak.
- Key workers such as frontline NHS staff will be tested to ensure they do not self-isolate unnecessarily.
- In order to cope with rapid increase in numbers of people presenting with respiratory symptoms, patients will now be asked to contact via NHS 24 on the 111 number, rather than through their GPs.
Latest News from
Scale of economic challenge highlighted05/06/2020 16:28:00
Gradual recovery from COVID-19 crisis expected.
Review of further and higher education support05/06/2020 15:05:00
Scottish Funding Council to consider its model in light of COVID-19.
Protesting against racism05/06/2020 14:18:00
Public encouraged to keep safe while making their voices heard.
Prioritising cancer services05/06/2020 13:05:00
Framework published to support health boards to treat patients.
Intensive care units show resilience during COVID-1905/06/2020 12:05:00
The increased number of intensive care unit (ICU) beds has meant NHS Scotland’s critical care service has been able to meet the demands of the coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency, and is well positioned should cases of the virus start to rise again.
£1.6m to help tackle food insecurity05/06/2020 10:05:00
Further support for food distribution network FareShare.
Impact of COVID-19 on crime05/06/2020 08:05:00
An analysis of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown has shown a decrease in almost all areas of crime recorded by police.
Thanks for pandemic volunteers04/06/2020 15:05:00
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has recorded a video message thanking the tens of thousands of volunteers who have helped Scotland’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19).
Recorded Crime in Scotland: April 202004/06/2020 13:05:00
Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released Recorded Crime in Scotland: April 2020.