Coronavirus – COVID 19 update – Last update 11th January
11th January 2021
It is unfortunate that since the last update, the COVID situation has deteriorated significantly. The NHS is again using the private hospitals for urgent NHS work. This means that as things stand, we are unable to offer any routine surgery at Spire Murrayfield or Kings Park Hospital until at least April 2021. This will mean we have been unable to perform routine surgery at the Spire Hospital for a whole year. I don’t think any of us could have anticipated such an outcome but it is out of our hands. We will await news from The Edinburgh Clinic as to whether we can resume day surgery once we are back in Tier 3. We can only apologise for any inconvenience caused.
We have been given some indication that we may be able to resume non-urgent procedures at the Spire Hospital no earlier than the end of January/ start of February 2021. We will contact patients as soon as we are able to resume follow-ups at Spire and surgery at Spire.
Update for Spire patients. The Spire Hospital in Edinburgh finished its contract with the NHS at the end of September. They have resumed most types of private surgery but unfortunately not cosmetic surgery. We were informed a few weeks ago that a decision would be made about the resumption of cosmetic surgery, and in particular, the rescheduling of patients whose surgery was cancelled as a result of the COVID crisis. We are still waiting to hear what the hospital’s position is and hope to have some kind of answer from them soon.
Please see the updated service provision above. We have resumed some operating and are negotiating theatre time in Stirling and at The Edinburgh Clinic.
We do not expect to restart operating any time before October at the Spire Murrayfield Hospital. We still cannot see routine new or follow up patients there. We can see follow up patients with urgent problems.
Virtual consultations for new patients have been working well and we are able to see them face to face at The Edinburgh Clinic after the virtual consultations. There is no guarantee when surgery can be performed for new patients and our priority remains to reschedule patients who have had their surgery cancelled or who were on our waiting list prior to the lockdown.
Self-isolation for 2 weeks prior to surgery is no longer required for healthy patients and they only need to self isolate for 3 days prior to surgery at the time they are tested for COVID 19.
We are glad that things have started to move, albeit very slowly so please bear with us. We will keep this page up to date as and when new developments arise.
We have received some encouraging news from Kings Park Hospital Stirling and The Edinburgh Clinic about being able to resume some surgery at the end of the month and in August/ September. We still have no firm indication as to when we can resume elective surgery at the Spire Murrayfield Hospital in Edinburgh.
For reasons of safety, we are starting with smaller local anaesthetic procedures and more straightforward breast surgery. We are unable to start performing more complex facial procedures such as rhinoplasty and facelift surgery or combination body surgery or full tummy tuck surgery.
Any operating time we are offered at present is on a limited basis as the private hospitals still have commitments to the NHS to provide extra capacity.
Any patient requiring a general anaesthetic will currently be required to self isolate for a full 2 weeks prior to surgery and will have a COVID 19 test a few days before admission. Local anaesthetic patients are required to self-isolate for 7 days prior to surgery but this requirement is currently under review. There will also need to be a period of self-isolation after surgery. These requirements are the same requirements facing anyone having planned surgery under the NHS.
There remain potential additional risks relating to COVID 19 for anyone undergoing surgery at this time and you will be sent a separate consent form outlining these risks.
We are aware of the disappointment for those waiting to have certain procedures carried out. Please bear with us as we have to be guided by advice from the NHS and private hospitals as to what is safe. We are also facing very limited operating time as we resume our services.
Now that we have some definite indication that we can resume some operating, we are offering virtual consultations for select procedures. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee when surgery can be offered and in many cases, we will not be able to offer surgery this year. Our priority will remain to reschedule our patients who have had prior dates booked as soon as it is safe to do so and as soon as we have the required operating time and facilities.
The situation remains fluid and no-one can predict what will happen over the coming months and whether we will face a second wave of infection as winter approaches.
Follow up patients – Our strong preference is that we wish to see all of our follow up patients face to face as soon as we are able. Please rest assured that the 1 year free aftercare period will be extended due to the current situation. Any follow up patient who wishes to have a virtual consultation is more than welcome and these will be free of charge. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you want to arrange a virtual or telephone consultation to discuss your outcomes.
Resumption of surgery and consultations
We have received some indication that we may be able to resume operating on selected patients towards the end of August/ early September. Once we have been given some set operating time, we will start contacting patients who may be suitable to offer them dates. Surgery location will either be at the Spire Murrayfield Hospital, Kings Park Stirling or at The Edinburgh Clinic. We await clarification of the procedures that will need to be put in place but they will certainly involve a period of quarantine/self-isolation prior to any surgery and also afterwards. There will also be a requirement for COVID testing before surgery that will be arranged by the hospitals.
Once we have a set date for the resumption of surgery, we will look to restart consultations for new patients.
This has been a difficult time for everyone and we appreciate your patience in bearing with us.
For those patients who have had their surgery cancelled, you can rest assured that we will be offering new dates to patients in order of priority. Those who had earlier dates will be offered new dates first. However, there may be certain procedures that are deemed a higher risk and we may not be able to offer dates for those procedures at the beginning when we recommence surgery.
We have been advised today by the Spire Hospital that non-essential surgical procedures are being cancelled up until the end of September 2020. The private hospitals continue to support the NHS and what capacity they have left for private work will be prioritised for more urgent procedures. Unfortunately, the situation is likely to be similar at King’s Park Hospital, Stirling.
We are, therefore, unable to honour any of the surgical dates given to patients from August onwards. This is in addition to all patients who have had their surgery cancelled from the end of March through to July. We have started contacting all newly affected patients today and will continue to do so over the coming days.
Any patient who has paid an arrangement fee for surgery will be entitled to a full refund should they wish to come off our waiting list.
We can only apologise for all of the inconvenience caused, but unfortunately, our hands are tied at present as we have no access to operating theatres within the private hospitals during this unprecedented pandemic.
When will you be able to reschedule my surgery?
Once we have firm guidance from the private hospitals about what theatre capacity is available to us, we will start rebooking patients. This will, of course, be done in order of priority, based on when patients had their original dates.
Will I get my surgery this year?
We hope some patients will be able to have their surgery this year (especially those who had dates in March/ April), but the situation remains very unclear.
I have heard other hospitals are offering cosmetic surgery now?
Some of the smaller private hospitals in England have resumed some cosmetic surgery procedures. The leading private hospitals groups in Scotland (Spire, BMI and Nuffield groups) are all adopting a similar policy with it being highly unlikely that any non-essential private procedures will be offered before the end of September. Smaller independent clinics with their own theatres will be able to provide some procedures under local anaesthetic and sedation.
When will you resume consultations for new patients?
We are still waiting for updates as to when we can resume consultations for what are deemed non-urgent medical procedures.
We are aware that there has been little in the way of updates from us on the COVID 19 situation over the last few weeks. What is becoming abundantly clear is that there will be no return to normal for any of us for the foreseeable future.
All of our consultations take place at the Spire Murrayfield Hospital in Edinburgh, and we also operate there as well as The Edinburgh Clinic and Kings Park Hospital in Stirling. The Edinburgh Clinic remains closed for the time being, and the Spire Murrayfield and Kings Park Hospitals are currently only treating urgent NHS patients. We will update you as soon as we have information as to when we can start seeing and operating on patients again at these facilities.
Patient and staff safety is of the highest priority. As a result of this, there will be several changes to practice for some time. Although we do not yet have all the information to hand, we want to give you some insight into what changes are likely to happen. We will, of course, update this page once we have more clarity on the situation.
What is likely to happen once the hospitals are open again?
COVID 19 Questionnaires
All prospective patients and follow up patients will be required to complete a COVID 19 questionnaire before arrival. If there are any ‘red flags’, your appointment will need to be rearranged.
Social distancing and protective equipment
Hospitals will need to maintain social distancing measures at all times, and you may also be required to wear a mask on arrival. It is unlikely that you will be able to bring anyone with you for your consultation. You will be provided with alcohol gel on entry and on leaving. There will need to be limits on the number of people in the waiting room.
Will you be offering virtual consultations?
We hope to start offering virtual consultations as soon as we can. This will primarily be for our follow up patients. Any patient who wishes to be seen in person will be offered the opportunity as soon as it is practical. At some point, we will also start offering virtual consultations for new patients.
What will happen once you start operating again?
Will I need to be tested for COVID 19 or will I be asked to quarantine before surgery?
It is highly probable that you will need to be tested a week or so before surgery and possibly shortly before. You are also likely to be asked to self-isolate for several days before and after surgery. We will update you on this once the hospitals have published their guidance on this. These measures are already in place for elective NHS surgery.
Will cosmetic surgery resume at the same time that other private operations start?
Cosmetic surgery, by its very nature, is deemed non-essential. There is a chance that the private hospitals will prioritise more urgent procedures ahead of cosmetic surgery, and this is entirely understandable.
Lengthy or combined procedures
Some reports show that patients undergoing major surgery who then develop COVID 19 during their recovery can run into problems and have a higher chance of serious complications.
For this reason, we will need to reduce the operative time, hospital stay and recovery period of all cosmetic procedures. It is, therefore, highly likely, that we will not be able to offer combination surgery such as tummy and breast surgery at the same time or surgery following massive weight loss. We may also have to defer major operations such as tummy tuck.
Risk factors for surgery
High-risk patients such as the elderly, patients with diabetes, cancer, breathing disorders such as severe asthma, and the immunocompromised are likely to have their surgery deferred for some time.
Risk of procedures based on site
Procedures around the mouth and nose and those that produce an aerosol (aerosol-generating procedures or AGPs) are particularly high risk for virus transfer and should be avoided if possible. This may have implications for when we can resume facial cosmetic surgery and especially procedures such as rhinoplasty.
More time required in theatre
Procedures are in place by the NHS and regulatory bodies for the management of patients that require a general anaesthetic. These include the use of personal protective equipment (PPE), adequate air changes and time left between patients. This will impact on the amount of theatre time required between patients and may have implications for how soon we can offer you surgery.
How will you prioritise booking patients back in for surgery who already had a date or have had their surgery cancelled?
We will be looking to prioritise patients who have been cancelled in order of the date of surgery that they had. However, as has been outlined above, certain procedures (facial/ nose/ combination/ major) may have to be deferred, and patients that fall into the high-risk categories may also have to be deferred.
We hope that you can appreciate the difficulty we all find ourselves in during these unprecedented times. As things remain, the earliest date we have for the resumption of any physical service will be some time in July. If the situation changes, we will let you know.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at [email protected] or [email protected] if you need anything at all. We are still able to see patients at the Spire Hospital for any urgent post-surgical wound-related issues.
9th April 2020
Spire Murrayfield Hospital Update
We have been informed that the Spire Hospital in Edinburgh will remain closed for non-urgent procedures and outpatient appointment for a minimum of 3 months from today. This is to enable the hospital to help the NHS with urgent cancer operations.
We will, of course, update as soon as we have any further information. Based on what we know, we will remain closed for procedures and face to face consultations until the 9th of July at the Spire Murrayfield.
We will also update on procedures at The Edinburgh Clinic and Kings Park Hospital Stirling when we have any further information. Again we are unable to operate or see patients at these two facilities until further notice.
We hope you are all well and keeping safe. Remember to contact us on [email protected] if you have anything you need to ask us.
26th March 2020
Update for patients who have had surgery or other procedures with us over the last few weeks/ months
Following your surgery with us, you will have received a letter asking you to arrange a follow-up visit. Alternatively, an appointment will have been made by the hospital at the time of your discharge. Your review appointment is crucial for assessing your outcome and is an opportunity for you to discuss any concerns you may have.
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 outbreak, the private hospitals we work in are rightly prioritising their resources to support the NHS and to minimise risk to staff and patients. Additionally, the country as a whole is in a state of lockdown, and we are all limited to essential movement only.
All non-urgent operating has been suspended for a minimum of 3 months by the private hospitals. We have also discontinued our outpatient clinics as we cannot justify them as being for essential medical conditions. Our staff have been contacting all patients affected by surgical and outpatient cancellations.
We are committed to seeing all of you for your follow up, face to face, and will make provisions to do so as soon as we can.
In the meantime, we want you to know that we are here for you. Our office staff are working from home and are available to answer any queries you have.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions. You can either email us at [email protected] (best option) or call us on 07801 492659. We can arrange for our surgeons to speak to you over the phone or potentially by video conferencing. We are also at hand to see you at the Spire Murrayfield Hospital for any urgent matters relating to wound care or anything else that cannot wait.
Keep safe and stay in touch.
23rd March 2020
Theatre and clinic cancellations
You will all be aware of the rapidly evolving situation with the COVID 19 virus. The safety of our patients is our highest priority. Social distancing measures are already in place, and our NHS is going to be under severe strain. As cosmetic surgery is not an essential activity, we feel it is not appropriate to continue operating on and seeing patients at this critical time.
The Spire Murrayfield Hospital has rightly stopped all non-essential surgical procedures as of Friday 20th March. Additionally, we have decided to suspend all of our cosmetic surgical and outpatient activities at all sites for a minimum period of 3 months until the end of June. We will contact all patients who have dates for surgery within this period as soon as possible. We will not be seeing any new patients, and we will be available to advise any follow-up patients through phone or video review. Patients who have had recent surgery will still be seen for any dressings/ wound care. We will be on hand to see any patients that require urgent review and we can arrange to see you at the Spire Murrayfield Hospital.
Over the coming weeks, we will be in touch with all those who have had cancelled outpatient appointments to arrange new follow up appointments once social distancing measures have been relaxed.
Our staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have. We will, of course, keep you updated as the situation changes and will do our best, along with the hospitals we work at to reschedule surgery once the situation has improved.