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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice

Released on - 06/03/2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice

The current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is presenting significant challenges across the UK for all healthcare providers both in the independent sector and the NHS. It is important to know that COVID-19 is a new respiratory virus, spread by droplet when we sneeze or through saliva, it is not airborne. 

The UK government, National Health Service (NHS) England and Public Health England (PHE) have planned extensively for an event such as this and are prepared to respond.

The four UK governments’ Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) continue to advise the health and social care systems across the UK. Government agencies in all parts of the UK are responding to COVID-19 by providing a coronavirus action plan: A guide to what you can expect across the UK. Department of Health (DOH) 2020.

Public health authorities (PHA) and the Health and Social Care Systems (HSCS) have been cascading information widely to all health care professionals regarding the steps to take if patients and staff exhibit symptoms of COVID-19.

The Association for Perioperative Practice (AFPP), are aware of concerns raised regarding suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 requiring surgical intervention, and what risk this poses to healthcare professionals as operating theatres are very high-risk areas.

A standard operating procedure (SOP) or policy for COVID-19 for theatres is required as NHS England and NHS improvement have already issued guidance for the primary care setting (2020).

Currently the Association for Perioperative Practice (AFPP) are unable to provide specific advice regarding COVID-19 as this is a new virus. However, standard precautions should be used rigorously in line with environmental cleaning, hand hygiene, appropriate PPE and local infection control policies. A risk assessment should be undertaken to assess the risks posed by COVID-19 in the perioperative environment, and procedures adopted to reduce contamination.

Local trusts and independent healthcare providers should refer to identified guidance provided by the government, Public Health England, Department of health, and NHS England.

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