Elective Surgery Specialty Waiting List Review & Covid-19

Closed 3 Jul 2020

Opened 29 May 2020


The objective of this survey is to gather a data set to review the impact on waiting lists and what mitigations are in place.

As we think about restarting elective surgery across the country following COVID-19, we would like to invite you to participate in a review of the impact on waiting lists across surgical specialties.


Why We Are Consulting

The reasons for seeking this review include:

  • Many patients on waiting lists are elderly and are currently self-isolating and may be doing so for some time. Shielding patients are concerned about hospital safety. Anecdotal evidence suggests they are declining surgery either permanently or wanting a significant delay.
  • Younger patients may be put off from having surgery, especially day case and minor procedures, by having to stay at home and off work for the proposed quarantine times.
  • Surgeons offering surgery may raise the bar on risk benefit, especially if patients require a general anaesthetic.
  • Patients may decline surgery for non-life threatening conditions.

Some anecdotal evidence on patient attitudes from orthopaedics and ophthalmology suggests:

  • Around 20% are not prepared to consider surgery now or for the foreseeable future.
  • Another 20% are not only refusing the offer of a procedure but have decided to be removed from the waiting list altogether.

This review will provide us all with the information we need to reorganise our services and align the GIRFT principles of quality and outcome measurement to support this work. The results of the questionnaire will be analysed and best practices that have been identified will be shared with participants.

All information provided will be in confidence and not attributed to any individual or Trust.