Your local NHS services have been working hard to respond to the coronavirus pandemic and ensure the safety and quality of our services for all patients.
Just like the rest of the NHS, the number one priority for the last few months in Tameside and Glossop has been ensuring that all those who need emergency care – not just those with coronavirus – have been able to get it when they need it.
Combined with the need to avoid unnecessary contact to reduce the spread of the virus, this has meant that some non-urgent appointments and surgeries may have been postponed, and others delivered differently using technology.
At Tameside Hospital staff are now preparing to gradually increase some important face-to-face services, but only where this can be done safely without putting patients, the public or staff at greater risk.
If you are waiting for an appointment or waiting for a test or a surgical procedure, the hospital is currently prioritising the most clinically urgent patients. It is likely to be some time before they will be able to commence any treatments that are less urgent.
Those of you who do go to the hospital for planned care, outpatient appointments or to be admitted including for day surgery, you will need to wear a face covering, maintain the current social distancing guidelines and regularly sanitise or wash your hands. Visiting is still restricted at the hospital so when attending your appointment please consider that you may be required to come on your own.
During the pandemic the hospital has been doing a number of out-patient appointments virtually with really positive results. These appointments have been so popular, in fact, that the hospital is planning to keep running some appointments in this way.
If you are being admitted to hospital for a planned surgical procedure you may be asked to isolate at home prior to your admission date. You will also be asked to complete a coronavirus test 72 hours before your admission date. If you are unable to isolate effectively or be tested before coming to hospital, your admission may be rescheduled, but you will be provided with individual advice prior to your planned admission.
If you are currently shielding because you are at high risk of complications from coronavirus, but need to come to the hospital or the clinic for planned care, extra planning and protection will be put in place. This will be discussed with you in advance.
Remember, GP practices remain open, with patients being asked to phone their practice in the first instance or visit their practice website for details about accessing their GP via online consultation. GPs are also still referring patients to the hospital, so please contact your GP if you are worried about something.
If a health condition requires prompt medical help to avoid it deteriorating, but is not life-threatening, you should ring your practice, use NHS 111 online or ring 111 or attend the Urgent Treatment Centre.
The A&E department at Tameside Hospital is still open and you should attend or call 999 if you have a serious injury or illness.
Remember, you can find more help on when to use the different Urgent Care services on www.nhs.uk.