Elective Care temporarily paused in Greater Manchester

Hospitals in Greater Manchester have made the difficult decision to pause some non-urgent surgery and appointments due to the rising impact of Covid.

This temporary measure aims to impact the fewest number of patients. The affected patients are being contacted and informed of this decision.

It will not affect cancer and urgent care including cardiac surgery, vascular surgery and transplantation. The Christie will continue to provide cancer care in a Covid secure way. Rochdale continues to provide cancer and other urgent surgery as a Covid secure site for Greater Manchester. In addition, our diagnostic services, including endoscopy, and the majority of our out-patient services will continue wherever possible.

Reasons for this decision:

Staff have worked tirelessly to try to maintain services and deliver the highest quality of healthcare to local people. But Covid admissions are rising sharply (from 126 on Sunday 19 December 2021 to 359 on Sunday 2 January 2022); as are inpatient diagnoses (193 to 738 for the same period). In some hospitals more than one in five patients have Covid. Though this is not translating into critical care pressure at present.

However, the main reason is the high and rising level of staff absence – with around 15% off, either ill with Covid or isolating. There have been outbreaks in an increasing number of care homes, which is affecting how people are discharged from hospitals. The bed modelling suggests that these challenges may get worse, in the next week or two.

The decision affects hospitals across the region and will start to be implemented from Tuesday 4 January 2022. If you are not contacted then assume your treatment is continuing as planned. There is no need to contact the hospital or your GP practice for this information.

We understand how disappointing this will be for patients who have appointments or procedures affected, especially those who have already waited some time, and we know people will be worried.

While You Wait

The While you Wait website is an online resource for residents of Greater Manchester. It helps patients manage their physical and mental wellbeing while waiting for hospital care, by providing information and advice.

Anyone waiting for treatment and can find advice and support on the website – www.whileyouwait.org.uk, and the latest publicly available waiting statistics can be found here on the NHS England website.

The hospitals affected are as follows:

  • Royal Bolton Hospital
  • Fairfield General Hospital
  • Manchester Royal Infirmary
  • Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
  • University Dental Hospital of Manchester
  • St Mary’s Hospital
  • North Manchester General Hospital
  • The Royal Oldham Hospital
  • Salford Royal Hospital
  • Stepping Hill Hospital
  • Tameside General Hospital
  • Trafford General Hospital
  • Royal Albert Edward Infirmary
  • Wrightington Hospital
  • Leigh Infirmary
  • Wythenshawe Hospital
  • Macclesfield District General Hospital

This was a very difficult decision. It has been done to keep people safe; maintain the very best infection control measures; ensure we deploy staff to where they’re needed most; and can keep looking after people who need urgent and emergency care, including cancer treatment.

We would urge anyone with health concerns to continue to come forward for help and treatment in the usual way, using their local emergency department only for serious illnesses or injuries.

And we would also ask everyone to keep doing their bit to minimise the spread of the virus – please get vaccinated and boosted, wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces, wash your hands more frequently and minimise your contact with people outside your immediate household.