Urgent Appeal As Vital Surgical Slots Are Being Missed

7th June 2021

The South Eastern Trust is making an urgent appeal to patients to attend their COVID  surgical swab test 72 hours before they attend for their procedure.

Last weekend the Ulster Hospital was running “red flag” suspect cancer endoscopy investigations, but 20% of the entire capacity was lost due to patients not attending for their swab appointment.

Due to the current guidance,  patients MUST attend for a swab less than 72 hours prior to their procedure, even if they have been vaccinated.  If patients do not attend it is too late to offer another patient an appointment as there is insufficient time to organise a swab.

David Robinson, Director of Hospital Services, South Eastern HSC Trust said “I would wish to reassure patients that our elective surgical/diagnostic units are “COVID free”.  It is important that every patient attends for a swab to ensure that their procedure can go ahead.  This is crucial as every appointment counts in our objective to review our waiting lists.”