Current Covid19 Situation - An Update

COVID19 UPDATE - September 2020

The period since March of this year has been a tumultuous time in all our lives, but particularly so for us healthcare professionals – the world is suddenly a different place!

We in the medical world have been trying recently to reflect on and digest all the emerging evidence and data emerging from all over the world and to adjust our practice to keep you as patients and us as Medical Staff safe in the new normal environment.

When the virus first took hold in China, the most deaths among medical staff were amongst anaesthetists, ENT Surgeons and Ophthalmic Surgeons. This was almost certainly due to the necessity to get close to the patients nose and mouth in order to carry out common interventions that are termed ‘Aerosol Generating Procedures’ such as intubation (passing a tube into the lungs to allow artificial ventilation) as well as endoscopic examination of the nose and throat, and eye examination using a slit lamp. These interventions are more likely to expose the Dr to increased ‘viral load'.

We therefore stopped performing all but the most essential ENT operations apart from life- saving cancer operations, and this decision coincided in any case with all the Private Hospitals I work at giving all their theatre time over to the NHS in order to maximise the chance of these urgent operations taking place. This has been the ongoing situation since lockdown in March.

As we now start to return to a semblance of normality, this arrangement with regards to Private Hospital theatres is still largely in place.

I have recently been informed that this contract will remain in place locally in East Kent until the end of December this year.

This has resulted in a situation where as opposed to my regular weekly private operating lists at a combination of the Chaucer Hospital in Canterbury and One Ashford Hospital, I am now only being offered 'ad hoc' operating lists at One Ashford Hospital only, starting in September. In common with all my ENT Colleagues I am therefore still unable to offer any concrete early dates for dates for surgery until at least this stage, but I do hope to be back to nearly full capacity at the beginning of next year at the latest, when the NHS contract finishes. 

If you are waiting for an operation under my care as I write, I can only apologise and ask you to keep in touch with my secretarial colleagues at Dover Street Doctors to keep abreast of developments as services start to revert back to normal the and some normal surgical activity recommences.

With stringent new safety measures in place to protect you and me from the risk of contracting Covid however, I AM DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE THAT I AM NOW ABLE TO SEE YOU FACE TO FACE AS AN OUTPATIENT AT ONE ASHFORD HOSPITAL!

Unfortunately, I am still at this time not able to see you at Chaucer Hospital, as they are yet to reopen outpatient facilities to ENT Surgeons.   

Thinking positively, the good news is that a large proportion of ENT issues can be resolved without the need for surgery, and I hope to treat as many of your ENT problems as I can as an Outpatient. Those issues that can't be resolved and need surgery will get early priority once I am able to operate again at One Ashford and at the Chaucer Hospital in the near future.

I suspect as GP Practices and A/E Departments become more swamped with other more pressing issues during this unprecedented period there will be difficulties in accessing ENT advice and treatment, and I am happy to henceforth offer this service to you again face to face, in the safest possible, Covid-free environment.

Please contact my secretary or use the online booking portal on this website to book an appointment with me.

I hope that this will continue to allow me to offer you the best ENT service possible during this period.

Sending my best wishes to you and your family at this challenging time.

Henry Sharp

(Consultant ENT Surgeon / Rhinologist and Nasal Plastic Surgeon)





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