Different services have been affected in different ways depending on the nature, urgency and deliverability of care that they provide, within the context of coronavirus. In some cases, changes may represent more efficient and effective ways of providing care, and therefore have a role to play in the longer term.
There will also need to be good patient information and education around the benefits of inpatient attendance against the increased risk of transmission of COVID-19. This is the case for patients with a benign or asymptomatic condition, who may prefer to delay their treatment, especially if they are within the shielded population.
When planning for the restoration of services, it will be important for services to consider:
- late presentation to services; this may be due to fear of transmission of COVID-19, greater difficulties accessing care, increased travel difficulties or financial barriers
- increasing levels of anxiety or perinatal mental health issues
- increasing rates of poverty during the pandemic and afterwards due to economic shock; this may negatively impact the social determinants of health and wellbeing
- warnings of increased alcohol consumption
- an increase in domestic abuse due to social distancing and isolation, as reported by Women’s Aid.
- Prioritisation of indications for outpatient assessment and procedures in obstetrics and gynaecology:
- Within 7 days
- Within 14 days
- Within 30 days
- Over 30 days.
- Prioritisation for surgery in obstetrics and gynaecology:
- Within 72 hours
- Up to 4 weeks (4/52)
- Up to 3 months (3/12)
- Over 3 months (3/12).