Non-urgent outpatient appointments in Northern Devon are being postponed to allow staff to deal with the COVID-19 outbreak.
Given the latest instructions from the Government to stay at home to combat the coronavirus epidemic and to enable the Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust to free up essential staff to help care for patients with Covid-19, we have taken the decision to postpone all non-urgent outpatient appointments.
Emergency operations and admissions, cancer treatment and clinically urgent work will still go ahead.
Patients with an outpatient appointment coming up over the next few weeks will be contacted to advise them of next steps.
What will happen to my appointment? Is my appointment non-urgent?
Our clinicians are reviewing all our patients who are on a waiting list or who are booked in for an appointment over the next few weeks. On a case by case basis, the clinician will make a clinical recommendation about your care.
At this point we will get in touch with you and let you know next steps.
The recommendation will be either that your appointment is replaced with a telephone consultation or video consultation, or that it is postponed for a period of time, as recommended by the clinician.
What do I need to do now?
If you have an appointment booked over the coming weeks, we will contact you to advise of any changes – please do not contact us as our phone lines are very busy.
If we recommend a phone or video consultation, we will provide instructions on how your appointment will work.
If you are expecting a face-to-face appointment and have not heard from us at least 48 hours before your appointment, please call us on the number stated on your appointment letter.
What if I’ve been referred but don’t have an appointment date yet?
We will write to you soon. We will confirm that you will remain on our waiting list for a clinic appointment, but appointments are being postponed unless they are urgent. These letters will also provide guidance on what to do if your health deteriorates and you feel you need to be seen urgently.
Thank you to all our patients for your understanding during this challenging time.