Planned care for diagnostic services during the pandemic

Rapid guidelines series

Published: 27 July 2020 Government & NHS

As part of a Covid-19 rapid guidelines series, information on arranging planned care for diagnostic radiography procedures has been published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).

The guidance outlines how NHS services should be organised to balance the risks associated with Covid-19 with the potential harms that can arise from delays in elective treatment and diagnostic procedures.

The need to discuss planned care factors, such as older age, sex, ethnicity and underlying conditions that could increase their risk of getting Covid 19, is covered in the document.

In order to minimise the risk of Covid 19 transmission to other patients and healthcare workers, the guideline says that people should be advised to follow comprehensive social distancing and hand hygiene measures for 14 days before having planned care.

According to NICE, people should also be informed in advance that their planned care is likely to be postponed if they test positive for SARS-CoV-2, have symptoms of Covid-19, are not clinically well enough, or need to self-isolate after contact with someone with Covid-19.

COVID-19 rapid guideline: arranging planned care in hospitals and diagnostic services