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Requirement removed for PCR test and isolation prior to surgery

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We are introducing a change for people due to undergo surgery/diagnostic procedures

Manx Care is removing the requirement for those who are due to undergo a surgical or diagnostic procedure in hospital to undertake a COVID-19 PCR test then isolate for three days until admission.

Instead, we now request that patients due for admission for a surgical or diagnostic procedure (i.e. endoscopy) undertake a Lateral Flow Test on the day of the procedure – if positive, they must not attend the hospital, and should instead telephone the relevant ward/department to inform the team that they will not be able to attend. Those who test positive via a Lateral Flow Test should also contact 111 to request a PCR test (or visit the Testing and Results page on the COVID website to request a test online).

Some procedures may however still require a PCR test to be undertaken; however patients will be informed by the Preoperative Assessment Clinic Service if this applies to them.

We also ask patients not to attend for their procedure and to notify the ward/department if:

  • They are showing any symptoms relating to COVID-19
  • They have been in contact with anyone with COVID-19 in the last 10 days, including those identified as a high risk, low risk or close contact by 111 within the previous 10 days
  • They have been legally instructed to self-isolate by the 111 team as part of a travel pathway to enter the Island

This change follows a recent meeting of the Manx Care Clinical Advisory Group (a forum of all Clinical Directors and the Primary Care Network), who discussed advice issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA, formerly Public Health England) on changes to COVID-19 infection prevention and control advice to help ease pressure on the NHS.

The UKHSA and Manx Care realise how disruptive the requirement for PCR tests and isolation prior to surgery/diagnostic procedures can be for patients and service users. In addition it places a significant demand on our swabbing and testing capacity.