Protected Elective Surgical Unit – Instruction for patients coming into hospital for surgery

All of us should be practising good social distancing and hand hygiene to lower our chances of catching COVID-19. You should be especially careful about this in the 14 days before your admission for surgery.

  • always observe social distancing
  • wash your hands regularly
  • if you meet another household, outside your extended household, stay outdoors
  • work from home if you can

These measures alone should be sufficient to stop you contracting the virus before your surgery. However, you may choose to isolate more strictly within your own home for this time, particularly if you have other medical problems, are over 65 or on recommendation of the Doctor arranging your surgery.

As part of our admission process, you will need to have a swab test 72- 48 hours prior to your admission for surgery. The test will be provided by your local Health Board. The team that contact you for this may use a withheld number. If you require some additional tests ahead of your procedure your hospital team will further advise you of what is required. Following the test we ask that you adhere to the strict pre-operative self-isolation advice as over the page, until your admission to hospital.

You can only be admitted for your procedure if you (and your household members) have had no symptoms of COVID-19 infection, have isolated following the instructions below and you have had a negative COVID-19 swab. If you (or a household member) develop COVID-19 symptoms, don’t adequately isolate or have a positive swab, for everyone’s safety your procedure will be postponed until we can be sure that it is safe to proceed.

Pre-operative Self Isolation following your swab appointment

Please follow all of the instructions below after your swab test until your admission to hospital.

Additional instructions

  • Wash your hands more often with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Cleananddisinfectfrequentlytouchedobjectsandsurfacesinyourhome
  • Use separate household items such as towels, bedding and crockery
  • If you or any household member becomes unwell during this 14 day isolation period or you break your isolation, please report it prior to coming to the hospital for surgery by contacting this number 029 2184 8048 / 029 2184 1271.
  • COVID-19 can present with very minor symptoms such as those of a cold. Even if you do not feel particularly unwell please let us know of any symptoms, as the risk to you from surgery with undiagnosed COVID-19 is significant.
  • If you have specific questions regarding your Surgery please contact your Specialty’s team.

Your Hospital Admission

There are plenty of ways to plan and prepare for self-isolation, and so many things you can do to keep preoccupied and maintain your wellbeing while staying at home. Try not to think about what you can’t do – focus on what you can do, like nurturing your interests and relationships, and focusing on self-care.

Physical activity releases anxiety-reducing chemicals, while acting as a healthy distraction. There are many things you can do to keep exercising inside your home even if you’re self-isolating.

Good nutrition has a positive impact on your mood, while boosting your energy and immunity. It’s a good idea to plan your meals ahead so you know whether you have enough food to last you, as well as any family members or pets.

It’s a good idea to stick to a routine to give your day’s structure and balance.
Aim to wake up and go to bed at the same time, and have three meals at the same time each day – not forgetting to weave in regular breaks for water, exercise and fresh air.

It’s important to keep in touch with your friends and family. Text or call regularly to talk about the situation and how you’re coping. Or why not schedule in a video chat so you can still ‘see’ each other? A number of electronic devices are available throughout Cardiff and Vale UHB to support you with virtual visiting during your stay.
We will encourage you to utilise this service as much as possible.

Further support and help:

The advice on these pages is designed to help you prepare for the treatment ahead and support you through to recovery.

If you need further advice and support please discuss this with your key worker or healthcare professional.

  • Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Cancer support line:
    02920 745655  (9:00am to 12:30pm and 1:30pm to 4:00pm)
  • Macmillan Cancer Support:
    0808 808 00 00
  • Maggie’s Cardiff:
    029 2240 8024
  • Tenovus Cancer Care:
    0808 808 1010
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