Health and care services which have been suspended or reduced during the recent lockdown period are to be restored Island-wide from Monday 19 April, in line with the ending of restrictions.
Elective surgery, face to face consultations, outpatient clinics, mental health appointments, health visiting, school nursing, midwifery and therapies provided in the community are among areas preparing to return to their pre-lockdown levels of service following confirmation from Government that lockdown restrictions are to be lifted after a prolonged period with no unexplained cases of Covid-19 in the community.
Services across health and social care will be restored at the earliest opportunity when it is safe and practical to do so, with some making a full return on Monday and others being phased in gradually over the next week. A summary of Manx Care’s plans for each service area is available online in a downloadable document at Manx Care's homepage.
Chief Executive of Manx Care Teresa Cope said:
‘Staff are working extremely hard to ensure services are ready to come back on stream and get back up to speed as soon as possible. Some services will be restored more quickly than others. We aim to resume near full activity in theatres from Monday, and clinicians who have held outpatient clinics by phone or video in recent weeks will be able to see their patients face to face again from the start of next week, in tandem with remote consultations.
‘However some social care services will resume more gradually, including dementia support services, day services for older people and some children’s services, which we expect to return to normal service on 26 April. Adult learning disabilities support staff are busy preparing our day centre facilities and look forward to welcoming service users back to enjoy a full range of activities and opportunities from 4 May.’
Ms Cope added:
‘I’m delighted we are restoring services after a difficult period for our health and care service. I want to thank staff for keeping as much activity going as possible during the two lockdown periods this year, and for helping prepare for a return to normal now the Covid outbreak is behind us.’
Restrictions on visiting Manx Care residential homes for older people will be partially eased next week, and fully lifted from Monday 26 April. In-patients at Noble’s Hospital and Manannan Court will be able to receive visitors from next week, although restrictions may remain in place in certain areas, as previous arrangements are changed to allow a phased return to normal visiting.
The Hospitals’ visiting policy will be updated on the website on Monday 19 April.
GP surgeries, opticians and dental practices which have been restricting in-person visits will revert to an open door policy, and GPs will resume minor surgery. Telephone consultations will continue to be a feature in general practice alongside face to face appointments, whichever is appropriate, and practice staff will continue to conduct a telephone triage when patients call for an appointment, which is now part of their standard practice.
The blood clinic will remain located in the Noble’s reception area for the time being, as the number of visits to the hospital by members of the public increases. The café will re-open at a later date.
Standard infection prevention and control measures will be in place in all health and care settings and it will no longer be compulsory to socially distance or wear a mask. The doors at the main entrance to Noble’s and Emergency Department will continue to be staffed until early May as the return to normal beds in, and people will be asked to sanitise their hands as they enter and leave.