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University Hospitals Dorset NHS Foundation Trust

Coronavirus guidance

Surgery and outpatient appointments


Please continue to attend our hospitals for your booked appointment or procedure unless you are notified by us. If you cannot attend because you are self-isolating or do not want to attend, please contact the number on your appointment letter.

Please note: The restrictions around attending outpatient appointments haven't changed. Patients should continue to attend appointments alone if possible and follow the guidance here In our emergency departments, one person may accompany patients for emotional support if needed.


Surgery and elective procedures

In line with other hospitals in England, we are now starting to resume non-urgent elective operations. Please be reassured that if you already had a consultation or surgery planned, your name will have remained on our lists and you will be contacted to arrange a date for your admission. If the date you are given is inconvenient, you will not be removed from the waiting list, we will simply try to offer you a more convenient date. Please do not contact us unless your circumstances have changed.

Our waiting lists have been divided into groups based on risk, taking into account factors such as age and underlying health conditions.

If you are struggling while waiting for surgery, please contact:

  • Your GP practice who may advise us of clinical changes and offer medication in the meantime to help control your symptoms.
  • The Dorset Musculoskeletal website www.mskdorset.nhs.uk where you will find a selection of self-help guidance with some videos.

Having an elective prodecure during Covid-19


Your procedure during the pandemic

We know many of our patients have been waiting a long time for their procedure, and we are doing all we can to ensure you receive the care you need at this time. 

We’re doing all we can to stop the spread in our hospitals and have strict infection prevention and control policies in place.

For managing Covid, our hospitals have been split into areas for non-Covid and Covid positive patients and we have restricted visitors to all areas of our hospitals.

Due to additional safety measures, we are unable to treat as many patients per day as we did before Covid-19, but please be reassured we are working tirelessly to see you as soon possible.

We continue to work with our partner hospitals around the region which may mean your surgery takes place in another hospital. We also regularly test all our patients for the virus and our staff self-test at least tice a week. 

Please continue to attend our hospitals for your appointment or procedure unless you are notified by us. If you cannot attend because you are self-isolating or do not want to attend, please contact the number on your appointment letter.

The safety and wellbeing of our patients and staff are our key concerns and we thank you for your support at this time.

You can find out more about having a procedure during the pandemic here.


Outpatient appointments

Many of our outpatient clinics have been continuing to run, however to ensure people only visit hospital when absolutely necessary, a number of appointments are now successfully carried out by telephone or video. This also allows us to reduce our waiting lists quickly and saves the inconvenience of attending hospital and incurring parking charges.

Please be reassured that everyone with a planned operation will have the opportunity for at least one face to face conversation and examination with their surgical team prior to their operation.

Please continue to attend appointments unless you are notified by us. If you cannot attend because you are self-isolating or do not want to attend, please inform us.

We apologise for the inconvenience this causes but the safety of our patients must remain a top priority and it is important to ensure we fully comply with the actions taken by government to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus.

If you are worried please call the number on your appointment letter.

Advice for patients attending outpatient appointments Covid-19 (Coronavirus)


We need to hear from you

We are contacting patients via text message as part of our work to tackle the large waiting lists caused by the pandemic.

Over the last year many non-emergency operations and procedures across the NHS had to be cancelled or postponed because of Covid-19. We are working hard to prioritise our lists and will be contacting patients waiting for appointments at the Royal Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch hospitals via text message or letter to obtain further details.

If you receive one of these messages, please respond so we can help you with your care. We would like to assure you that: 

  • our communication will only ever ask questions relating to your care
  • we will never ask for bank details or reference to money or payment
  • we will never ask you for your name or address, however you will be able to update your details if they are not correct
  • our message will include a unique pin and we will ask you to input your date of birth only to log in
  • a business reply address in Macclesfield will be supplied – this is where our team are collating your responses 

Blood tests

Blood tests by appointment only - Royal Bournemouth Hospital site


Cancelling your operation or outpatient procedure

If you are considering not attending an appointment in the next week, please contact the number on your appointment letter.

Keep up to date with all our latest news here

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