If your child has been invited for a face-to-face appointment or procedure, it’s important you still come unless you hear otherwise.
To help keep everyone safe, only one parent or carer can attend. No other family or friends can visit.
See all our information about COVID-19, including steps we are taking to keep you safe.

Surgical care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

We are doing everything we can to continue to provide necessary tests, treatment and surgery, during the pandemic.

This website page explains how the surgical care of your child may be affected.

We ask you to read this information carefully to understand the requirements we have put in place for all children coming into hospital for treatment.

Your child’s admission will go ahead on the basis that you agree to follow the measures we have put in place for the safety of your child, yourself, other families, and our staff.

We thank you for your cooperation and patience.

Protecting you from coronavirus

We have put processes in place to protect all our patients from the risk of coronavirus before, during and after their operation. You can find out more about what we’re doing to protect our patients.

As well as the normal risks and benefits of any treatment, it is important that you are made aware of specific risks of coming into hospital during the coronavirus pandemic:

  • You and your child could come into contact with staff who may unknowingly be carrying coronavirus. This is why all staff your child comes into contact with will be wearing a face mask and eye protection. Also, you and/or your child could be infected and not yet showing any symptoms, so it is possible you and/or your child may already be carrying coronavirus when your child comes in for their operation.There is still a small chance of this even if your child has been tested and the result is negative. So it is important that you follow the instructions on hand hygiene while in the hospital, and do not come to the hospital if you or your child develop symptoms of coronavirus.
  • If coronavirus infection occurs when your child has surgery or while in hospital, this could make your child’s recovery more difficult. In our experience so far, at Evelina London and elsewhere in the country, we do not believe this is a significant risk for children, but we are doing everything we can to make sure they are safe. We ask that you follow the guidance of clinical staff and the measures we have put in place to protect you and your child from getting coronavirus.

Our commitment

At Evelina London we will do everything we can to perform your child’s operation, keep your child safe, and to give you and your child the information you need at all stages of your child’s treatment with us.

Your commitment

I will do everything I can to follow the instructions of my child’s surgical team before and after my child’s operation, which have been put in place to protect my child’s health and that of other children.

Deciding to proceed with treatment

A senior clinician will assess the risks and benefits of your child’s operation or test at the current time. We will only ask you to come in if we believe it is the right thing to do for their health. If you choose not to proceed with your child’s surgery, we will listen to your concerns and discuss them with you.

Deciding not to come in may mean that your child is discharged back to the care of your GP until you and your child are ready to come in, or that future dates for surgery may take much longer than normal to arrange. We will always work with you to make an appropriate plan for your child’s care.

Disruption and delays

We are taking every possible measure to run normal services as soon as we can. However, your child’s assessment and care may be disrupted, delayed or performed differently as we manage the impact of coronavirus. If your child’s treatment plan is changed, you will always be told and you can discuss any concerns with your child’s clinician.

Before your child’s operation

  • Your child’s consultations will mostly be done by telephone, email or letter, to avoid more people coming to our hospital. This is to help reduce the risk of infection.
  • We will do a coronavirus swab test on your child before their admission. This depends on the current infection rate and we will let you know if this is needed in advance, and how and where the swab can be done.
  • Your child’s operation may be delayed if your child tests positive for coronavirus or is unwell.This is to help reduce the risk of infection in the hospital and keep our patients and staff safe.
  • All children will have a coronavirus swab test in hospital when they are admitted for their surgery. If your child has to come to hospital before the scheduled operation, please let your team know about this as soon as possible. This will help them plan for your child’s admission for surgery.

What you will need to do before your child’s operation

  • Follow the latest Government advice on your child attending school. Most children can still attend school during the pre-operative social distancing period. If the numbers of coronavirus cases rise in the population, or if there are confirmed coronavirus cases at your child’s school, please be aware that this advice may change. Please contact your team if you are not sure.
  • Follow strict social distancing and hand hygiene measures before your child’s admission, as instructed by your surgical team. For most children, this will be for 1 week.
  • You, as the main carer, and your child, will need to self-isolate 72 hours before admission to hospital. If a swab test is done before surgery, the self-isolation time is from the time of swabbing until the day of admission. You, as the main carer and who has also self-isolated, will accompany your child to hospital on the day of admission.
  • We may also ask you and your family to go into strict self-isolation for longer before an operation, or procedure, depending on the type of surgery, or if your child has been or is unwell. You will be given clear information by your child’s surgical team about any isolation requirements. It is very important that you and your family follow our advice. Please be aware that if you have been unable to comply, there is a risk that your child’s operation or procedure may be delayed or cancelled.

Your child’s operation

  • Your child’s operation may not take place in the hospital that you were expecting. We are working with partners across South East London to provide care to patients, and your child’s care may be delivered in one of our partner hospitals.
  • The hospital environment may be different to what you are used to or expect, due to the social distancing measures in place. Wards will be reorganised, and staff will be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • We will be screening all patients and relatives for symptoms on arrival to the hospital, and it is likely your child’s operation would be postponed if they show any symptoms of coronavirus.
  • You might not meet your child’s surgeons until the day of treatment, and they might not be the ones you expected.
  • Your child will be allowed to have only one parent/carer to accompany them. Unfortunately, you will not be able to have your family and friends come to the hospital. This is to help keep your child and others safe, and reduce the risk of the spread of infection. See our full visitor policy for the pandemic.

After your child’s operation

When your child is discharged from hospital, you may be asked by your surgical team to continue to self-isolate to make sure your child’s recovery is not affected by coronavirus.

We will keep in touch with you to check on your child’ progress. You will be given contact details and information on follow up arrangements on discharge home.

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns about surgical care during the coronavirus pandemic, please use the contact details provided on the letter that was sent to you with this leaflet. Find more information about our services.

Leaflet number: 5109/VER1
Date published: November 2020
Review date: December 2021
© 2020 Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust
A list of sources is available on request.

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If you have any questions or concerns about your child’s medicines, please speak to the staff caring for them or contact our helpline.

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©  Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.
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