Elective surgery restarts at Bath hospital as Covid patients drop

Royal United Hospitals Bath stopped elective operations in January this year due to pressures brought about by coronavirus.

The Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath has restarted some elective surgery for the first time since January, as fewer Covid-19 patients need care in hospital.

The RUH announced it has begun some planned, orthopaedic surgery - such as hip and knee replacements.

Simon Sethi, CEO of the RUH, said: "Like all NHS hospitals, the pandemic has led to an increase in elective waiting lists at the RUH as we've treated those patients with Covid requiring urgent care.

As Covid cases have now reduced, we have restarted all elective surgery and our teams are working hard to ensure patients are seen as promptly and safely as possible.

Simon Sethi, CEO

The hospital stopped elective operations in January due to the pressures brought by coronavirus, though it continued to provide cancer treatments and emergency trauma services.

NHS data shows nearly a third - 32.1 per cent - of patients at the RUH were waiting more than 18 weeks for their surgery in February.

But, a much larger majority - 67.9 per cent of patients - were waiting less than 18 weeks for their surgery, with a total of 25,889 waiting to start treatment.

The RUH in Bath.

The data also shows half of all RUH patients had their operations in less than 12 weeks.

Cara Charles-Barks, RUH chief executive, added: "We're really pleased to invite patients in for procedures they've had to wait many months for, and we'd like to thank everyone for their patience ad understanding in what has been an unprecedented time.

"Like every trust, the pandemic has had a significant effect on waiting times at the RUH.

"We are now in a better position and we're working hard - including in collaboration with our partner Great Western Hospital and Salisbury Hospital trusts - to provide patients with elective care they need and to reduce the numbers on waiting lists."

Credit: Matthew McLaughlin, Local Democracy Reporter Service


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