NHS Trusts: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 1st July 2020.

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Photo of Holly Mumby-Croft Holly Mumby-Croft Conservative, Scunthorpe

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to support NHS Trusts tackle the backlog of routine hospital and GP appointments resulting from the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Access to urgent and routine care in general practice should be maintained for all patients, and practices should assess where care has been delayed over recent weeks and now needs to be restarted. As capacity allows, general practice teams should proactively address health needs that may have increased, developed or gone unmet during the pandemic, and accommodate changes in how patients want to seek healthcare, including supporting patients with self-care and self-management. Referrals should continue to be made as usual.

Whilst routine hospital treatments were suspended to provide capacity to treat COVID-19 patients, we are now working closely with the National Health Service and other partners to restart these in a safe way. Guidance has already been issued on this, and approaches are being tailored at local level according to local capacity and local demand, with the most urgent services being restarted first. Guidance also outlines that contracted independent sector hospital and diagnostic capacity should also be used in the restarting of routine elective procedures.

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