NICE publishes new guidelines on elective surgery, planned care

A new COVID-19 rapid guideline: arranging planned care in hospitals and diagnostic services NICE guideline [NG179] has been released by NICE. The publication makes recommendations for how these services should be organised to balance the risks associated with covid-19 and the potential harms that could arise from delays in elective treatment and diagnostic procedures.

The guidance states that people having planned care involving any form of anaesthesia and sedation should follow social distancing and hand hygiene measures for 14 days prior to admission – a change from 14 days of self-isolation. For elective surgery, patients need to take a covid-19 test three days before surgery, and self-isolate for three days prior to surgery.