It is recognised that the rebuilding of HSC services will take some months.
Moving forward it is important that there is a careful balance between maintaining the capability and flexibility to continue to respond to COVID-19 , whilst also keeping a strong focus on ensuring that patients and service users can access the vital care they need right across the range of services.
Treatments that have the highest impact on reducing mortality and morbidity will be prioritised.
The plans in place include ongoing emphasis on high priority cancer services, and other urgent conditions.
In relation to daycase and diagnostics, including endoscopy, Trusts have prioritised inpatient, urgent and red flag investigations across all sites. Patients falling into these categories will continue to be the priority, but all Trusts are also increasing scheduled routine activity for daycase and diagnostics, albeit with reduced capacity due to infection control constraints.
Keeping patients and service users and staff safe will be a key priority. All visitors to health and social care sites should bring and wear a face covering such as a mask, scarf or bandana.
In order to minimise the risk of infection, COVID-19 patients and staff providing care to them should be separated from non-COVID-19 patients and staff where possible.
Some outpatient appointments with clinical teams may happen by telephone or by video call, as appropriate. There will be limited face to face appointments for urgent and priority cases.
All Trusts will also be using their accommodation in a way which helps maintain social distancing guidelines.
This means that there will be some changes to how patients and service users access services.
Staff may also be wearing masks and other protective coverings to keep the public and themselves safe. It is likely that there will continue to be some restrictions on visitors to care facilities.