This is the question we are being asked most frequently right now and people’s anxiety is understandable. With cases of Covid-19 rising again and a move towards local containment measures, there is a reluctance among some patients to enter a hospital setting.

Enhanced infection prevention measures

However, considerable care has been taken to make hospitals safe with enhanced infection prevention measures across all departments. If you require orthopaedic surgery, it is important not to it put off as delays could lead to unnecessary pain and a potential worsening of symptoms.

Here are some of the measures that have been put in place to protect you while you are in hospital:

Screening

All staff and patients undergo thorough Covid-19 screening, including temperature checks on entering the hospital and a questionnaire that has to be completed before coming to hospital and when you arrive.

Thermal scanners

The installation of high-tech thermal scanners allows for efficient temperature checking without interrupting the flow of patients and staff through the hospital.

Socially-distanced waiting areas

All waiting rooms have been rearranged to ensure correct social distancing. In smaller areas, Plexiglas screens have been installed to protect patients and staff, while two and three-seater arrangements have been replaced with single seating.

Hand sanitiser stations

Hand sanitiser stations have been installed throughout the hospital and outpatient clinics and patients and staff are encouraged to use these whenever they pass from one part of the hospital to another.

Enhanced cleaning

Since the advent of Covid-19, cleaning schedules in hospitals have been expanded to increase the frequency of cleaning of high traffic areas such as stair rails, reception areas, seating, toilets, doors and lift buttons. Many doors in hospitals and clinics are automatic which avoids people having to touch them.

Staff PPE

All staff wear personal protective equipment and have been rapidly trained in its correct use. This includes masks, gloves and aprons.

Handwashing

Handwashing has been shown to be an important way to combat the spread of the virus. All staff wash hands thoroughly after each patient contact. Patients, too, will be asked to wash their hands regularly when they are in the hospital. This is a good practice to continue once you are discharged from the hospital too.

Masks

All patients are now required to wear face masks when coming into hospital unless there is a medical reason why you are exempt. Rather than wearing gloves, you should sanitise your hands when you come into hospital.

Covid-19 reminder signs

There are signs throughout the hospital to remind patients and staff of the correct procedure to follow at all times to prevent the spread of the virus. If you are coming into hospital it is important to follow these instructions carefully. You will also find patient information leaflets explaining how to protect yourself against Covid-19 while in hospital and once you are discharged.

Pre-operative measures

Before you come into the hospital you will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days to reduce any risk of infection. You will be tested for the virus before being admitted to hospital for your own protection and that of other patients and staff. If you have any respiratory symptoms or have been in contact with a person who has Covid-19 you should not attend the hospital. If you are a high risk patient, you should discuss any concerns with your clinical team before coming into hospital.


Coming into hospital

All patients are being asked to come into hospital alone to reduce the risk of infection. If you need additional help staff are on hand to provide it. If you need to remain in hospital overnight, no visitors are currently permitted as an additional safety measure. The only exception to this is patients undergoing critical care or those nearing the end of life.


Support from Joseph Queally

As a patient of Joseph Queally, you can be confident of receiving the highest standards of care at all times and now is no exception. Some of the surgical procedures we offer can be performed as a day case – such as total hip replacements – which means you will be able to go home the same day to minimise any risk of exposure to the virus. We understand that people are anxious and have many different questions and we are happy to discuss any concerns you have to help you make the best decisions about your care.

Joseph Queally is an experienced hip surgeon who can diagnose and recommend the right time for hip replacement surgery.

Whereas in the past, patients having a hip replacement might need to spend three weeks in hospital, now some patients can go home the same day or the following day.

This means you can get back to full function more quickly and limit the risks of an extended hospital stay.