Your planned care

We understand how important your health is to you, and that you may need to be supported whilst you wait for your appointment, operation or treatment. We are here for you and doing our best to get you the care you need as soon as possible.

Support while you wait:

The NHS has recently launched the My Planned Care Patient Digital Platform which gives you direct access to the latest average wait time information for the Trust, as well as helpful advice and support whilst you wait.

We encourage you to look at this site where you may find the information you need before contacting your GP or hospital for an update about any elective procedures you are waiting for.

The site is updated weekly, the site is easy-to-use and is ‘open-access’ so your carer, friends, relatives, and your NHS team can also access this information.

As well as wait time information, the platform also includes helpful details about how to manage your pain, mental health, keeping healthy and accessing financial help and other local support whilst you wait. It can also help you to prepare for your appointment/operation, including how to make a plan for your care and treatment alongside your healthcare professional.

Waiting list update

We are working very hard to catch up with the backlog of delayed procedures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. We are prioritising the most urgent cases and those who have waited the longest.

During the first half of this year, we received some national funding to allow us to increase the number of operations and outpatients appointments we were providing. This helped to reduce the number of patients waiting more than 52 weeks for their procedure by 42% since the end of March 2021, although the waiting list is still bigger than we would want it to be.

We are now working towards ensuring that nobody is waiting more than 104 weeks for treatment by the end of March 2022 as well as making sure our waiting lists do not get any bigger.

How are we going to do this?

  • A £1.2m mobile Endoscopy unit opened at the Cumberland Infirmary on 18 November 2021 which is aiming to see 500 patients a month over a six month period
  • We are increasing the number of day case procedures we are doing
  • We are working to increase the use of virtual outpatient appointments as well as keeping some face-to-face
  • We have opened extra beds for surgical patients having a planned orthopaedic operation to ensure operations can go ahead with a bed available
  • We are applying for additional funding to allow us to look at the options such as running outpatient clinics at weekends; increasing our theatre lists at both the Cumberland Infirmary and West Cumberland Hospital and increasing the number of surgical beds

Preparing for surgery

If you are waiting for surgery, there may be things you can do to improve your symptoms depending on the type of procedure you are waiting for. As Covid-19 has made it more likely you are waiting longer for surgery, it is an opportunity to work on what you could do to improve your overall wellness. We know that some people’s health and wellbeing may have deteriorated during the lockdowns experienced during the height of the pandemic.

This might mean that you no longer need to have the surgery or you can ensure you are as well as possible before surgery which may help you when you are recovering and in the longer term.

Having an operation puts strain on your body therefore the fitter you are, the more likely it is that you will recover faster, have less complications and spend a shorter time in hospital.

There are studies which show that:

  • Smokers are much more likely to experience complications or die after an operation
  • Being obese can double your risk of blood clots, cardiac complications and infections

Other risk factors include:

  • Physical inactivity
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Being very underweight

What you can do

Consider setting yourself goals, record them somewhere and keep track of your progress. This may be in relation to:

  • Exercising – even if it is a gentle walk depending on your condition
  • Sticking to healthy foods – your body needs good nutrition to fight infection and heal following surgery
  • Quitting smoking
  • Reducing alcohol consumption or stopping drinking alcohol
  • Getting a good night’s sleep

You can find out more about how to ‘live well’ at https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/

For practical tips about preparing for surgery, visit https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/having-surgery/preparation/