21 December 2020

The following information is from our colleagues at Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group (CCGs)

A patient with a breathing condition has shared her personal experience of having an operation at the Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) during the COVID-19 pandemic. She told health leaders at Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) that ‘they did marvellously under the circumstances’.

Christine Lloyd from Telford, who is a member of the Breatheasy Telford & District Group, had been shielding since March as her condition made her more vulnerable to coronavirus. She had an appointment with a consultant at PRH’s Ear, Nose and Throat Department.

“My husband could accompany me to hospital, but wasn’t allowed into the consultation room with me,” said Christine.

“We didn’t see anyone else around – it was quite surreal and also a little frightening to see the staff wearing masks and visors. I also had to wear a mask, but the consultant put me at ease and explained everything about the procedure.

“During my pre-op assessment, I think I was more nervous about COVID than about the operation, but staff looked after me really well and answered all my questions. Everything was written down for me to read later.

“Two weeks before the operation, I was tested for COVID, then my husband and I had to isolate at home to make sure I could have the operation safely.

“The consultant saw me before I went into theatre, and a registrar saw me afterwards to give me my discharge letter which explained what would happen over the coming weeks. My consultant phoned me two weeks after the operation to follow up, but I knew I could phone her at any time if I had any concerns or questions.

“I’ve also had regular calls from my GP practice to check how I’m doing, and I’ve had to go into the practice to have my bloods taken and for my diabetes assessment. I know it’s important to keep these appointments to make sure I stay healthy.”

Dr Julian Povey, Joint Chair of Shropshire and Telford & Wrekin CCGs, said: “It’s important to hear about patients’ experiences accessing local health services and I’m pleased that Christine had such a positive experience; I hope that she is continuing to improve.

“It’s important that you attend any GP or hospital appointments to help ensure health issues are diagnosed and conditions are monitored.

“All necessary measures are being taken to ensure risks from coronavirus are minimised when attending face-to-face appointments. You will be asked to wear a face covering, keep a two-metre social distance and use hand sanitisers. COVID tests are now required only a few days before operations.”

Patients are urged not to visit their GP practice without an appointment or if they have any symptoms of coronavirus (a new, continuous cough; a high temperature; a loss or change in sense of taste or smell.)

If you have any of these symptoms, you and everyone in your household and support bubble must self-isolate. You should call 119 to book a test as soon as possible and do not leave home for any reason other than for a test.

For more information about coronavirus symptoms visit: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms