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Some 'on hold' services to resume

Health and care workers across the Frimley Health and Care system, from Slough to Farnham, are preparing for the restarting of some of the services that were suspended as part of the national Covid-19 effort.

Across our system our services are all working together to support this move towards restoring a wider range of treatment for local people.

Bringing services back into operation will help to ease the uncertainty and the worry for those people whose procedures and other treatments were put on hold. It will also begin to tackle the backlog and to ensure that further delays are kept to a minimum. However, this will be a gradual process and we would ask local people to continue to bear with us – as they have been doing so during the pandemic.

System leaders are prioritising certain outpatient, diagnostic, endoscopy and surgical services for reopening, in a cautious approach in the face of the continued presence of Covid-19.

The area’s acute hospital trust – Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust – has announced that it will be resuming selected services at its three sites (Frimley, Ascot and Slough) as the Covid-19 pressure gradually reduces.

Services may be delivered in different ways and in different places than previously, and if Covid-19 cases begin to rise again then these services could be scaled down or halted once more. Patients receiving treatment under these plans will be prioritised based on their clinical need.

Since March all health and care services across the system have adapted the ways they work, to be able to continue to support local people. This has included a huge increase in the amount of telephone and online appointments and consultations, staff having to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) in face-to-face appointments and many workers being re-deployed from their usual roles into specific Covid-19 tasks. Most non-frontline health and care staff have also been working from home to comply with social distancing rules.

With Covid-19 still circulating, many of these changes will still be in place as services resume.

Fiona Edwards, the Lead of the Frimley Health and Care Integrated Care System, said: “For all local people and all those who work within our health and care system, the last few weeks have been a very steep learning curve and there have been a lot of new things we have had to get used to.

"We still have a long way to go until we reach some sense of normality, and future health and care services may be quite different from what they used to be, because of the ongoing advice and because of what has been learned during the pandemic”.

“I would like to thank our local communities across all of the Frimley Health and Care for their amazing response to this pandemic and the support and continued understanding we have seen to our workforce and local communities during this extremely difficult and testing time.”

Frimley Health and Care