The Covid-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the NHS. As a result, some patients are waiting longer than we would like for an appointment or procedure.

We're working as quickly and safely as possible to see as many patients as we can and prioritising patients by clinical need. This includes establishing a number of fast-track surgical hubs.

If you're waiting for an appointment or procedure, please be reassured that we have not forgotten about you and we will be in touch as soon as we can.

We're working together as a group of Barts Health hospitals, with hospitals in nearby NHS trusts and private providers to see people on our waiting lists. You may therefore be offered an appointment at a different hospital to the one you were originally referred to.

We're also continuing to offer telephone and video appointments, although if you need to be seen in person, you will be.

Change in symptoms

If your symptoms change or get worse whilst you are waiting for your appointment or procedure, you should contact your GP or NHS 111 for advice.

How to prepare

There are many steps you can take to better prepare for your procedure:

  • Stop smoking to improve your body’s ability to heal and to improve your lung function. Guidance on the support available to help you stop smoking can be found on the NICE website.
  • Exercise more and eat a healthy diet to help your body manage the demands of surgery and aid recovery. For tips on helping you to start healthier eating habits, be more active and start losing weight, download the free NHS Weight Loss Plan.
  • Reduce your alcohol intake. Ensure you are drinking within (or preferably below) the recommended limits. This will improve your ability to heal after surgery.
  • Take care of your mental health by preparing yourself for your procedure and recovery, to help reduce anxiety and stress.

Futher information is available from the Royal College of Anaesthetists and our information sheet: Making the most of your time waiting for surgery[docx] 468KB

Questions about your care?

If you have any questions about your care, please contact your clinical team using the number or email address on your appointment letter.

Our patient advice and liaison service (PALS) is also available. Please be advised that it may take longer than usual for PALS to get back to you at this time.

If there are any changes to your care, we aim to let you know as soon as possible. If you do not hear from us, please attend any appointments as normal.

No longer need your procedure or appointment?

If you no longer require your appointment or procedure, either because you have received treatment elsewhere or because your situation has improved, please let your clinical team know as soon as possible. You can also cancel your appointment yourself here.