Isolating prior to surgery

In order to protect you and to make sure that you are as prepared for your surgery as possible, we need you to follow strict self-isolation guidelines before your surgery.

Following this advice will reduce the risk of you catching coronavirus (covid-19), which can impact on your recovery and, in some cases, cause serious complications. 

Why do I need to isolate prior to surgery if I have had my vaccinations?
If you have had your vaccinations you can still contract covid-19 so please continue to socially distance, wear your mask as advised by Government, wash your hands regularly and use hand gel. 
We advise that you do not have your vaccine within 7 days of your admission date as some people experience side effects and may feel unwell for a short time after.
Why is my isolation period 2 weeks, but other people are advised to isolate for 72 hours? 
RJAH current isolation period is either 72 hours or 2 weeks prior to your surgery date.
The reason some patients are advised 2 weeks of isolation is based medical risk factors e.g. age group, ethnicity, chronic medical conditions a patient may have. This advice is also based on the type of surgery the person having; if it is more complex or day case surgery.
The isolation advice will be confirmed after your pre-assessment appointment as advised by the Nurse. During your isolation period you must comply with strict isolation. This will enable you to have your planned surgery safely and protect other patients who are also being admitted for surgery. 
During self- isolation period you should:
  • not leave your house
  • not attend any gatherings
  • not have any visitors, except people who give you essential care
  • strictly avoid contact with anyone displaying symptoms of coronavirus
  • make arrangements to have your food and medicines delivered to you in your home
  • wash your hands more often, with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, throat and mouth with unwashed hands
  • clean and disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces in your home
Please remember that isolation is for you and other family members in the same household. This is to ensure they do not come into contact with another person who may have covid-19 but do not have any symptoms. This is to protect you and ensure you are fit for your surgery.
If your family members are not able to isolate during your advised time then you must maintain separation within the home.
This guidance is for your safety, and there is a risk of cancellation on the day of surgery if you choose not to comply.  
If I perform lateral flow tests twice weekly for work, why do I need another covid-19 swab before surgery?
Patients who are undertaking lateral flow tests still need to have a covid-19 screening swab 72 hours prior to your surgery which will be sent for enhanced testing to a laboratory. 
What should I do if I am isolating but need to travel to the hospital for my covid-19 swab? 
Patients who attend RJAH for covid-19 swabbing are advised to drive to the hospital and home only. Please do not to go elsewhere after the swab has been taken, to ensure accuracy of the swab result. 
I do not drive - can a family member or friend will bring me for my swab?
A family member or friend can bring you for your swab.
You are advised to both wear a mask, sit in the back seat of the car opposite to the driver. Leave the car window slightly open to ensure good air circulation and do not go elsewhere after the swab has been taken. 
Can I use public transport to come for my covid-19 swab? 
Using public transport is breaking isolation rules.
I live a long distance away from the hospital - can I stay in a hotel prior to my surgery?
Hotel stays are permitted as long as you do not come into contact with anyone else, isolation rules need to be applied the same as if you were at home.  You must not attend a restaurant to eat.  We advise that you should either bring food with you or use a drive through service.  
We recommend staying in a Travelodge or Premier Inn rather than a hotel where you are likely to come into contact with other guests which will break your isolation.