COVID-19 - Major Incident Control Room

At 18 Week Support, we are working with trusts and NHS England to help minimise the adverse consequences of COVID-19 on clinical capacity decisions for patients on urgent non-COVID-19 pathways and because we know your time is particularly precious at the moment, we have also created a Fact Sheet for your Major Incident Control Room.

Click here to download our 18 Week Support Fact Sheet

A number of our trusts are working with our clinical teams to agree support plans for the coming weeks and months to help them ensure:  

  1. Ensure compliance with all national Covid-19 precautions as they develop including: swabbing of patients, PPE, Air Flow requirements & time between cases, space in Waiting Rooms etc), including any guidance which comes out regarding the Covid-19 Tier system
  2. Digital technology is used to shift patient contacts from face-to-face to virtual consultations 
  3. Effective case review and risk stratificationis undertaken, for both current and new referrals, to ensure any adverse consequences of delay are understood and minimised 
  4. Availability of Booking, Reception, Administrative and Decontamination staff where required 
  5. Day case lists and diagnostics continue for as long as is safe to do so

What are other Trusts doing?  

Any decision to postpone elective cases will obviously affect those patients who are already waiting the longest and who are already most at risk of clinical harm because of their wait. To reduce harm, it is important for us to work together and provide any additional capacity over the coming months.  

A number of trusts are beginning to postpone elective routine inpatient surgery but are continuing to run day case lists.

 We are working with trusts to help them safely comply with the instructions set out in paragraph 1.a, of the letter from Sir Simon Stevens and Amanda Pritchard of 17 March 2020, which states: 

‘Emergency admissions, cancer treatment and other clinically urgent care should continue unaffected’

Click here to read more

One London Trust we work with is moving to telephone consultations wherever possible but seeking to continue with elective cases that may have life changing outcomes e.g. cancers and bowel screening or sight threatening consequences.

These new ‘Virtual Clinics’ are an effective way to priorities and manage urgent patients and minimise any adverse consequences of delay

Click here to read more

How we can support you

We are able to offer additional capacity over the coming weeks and months in the following specialities and can be available to join local capacity planning meetings:

  • Dermatology 
  • ENT
  • General Surgery 
  • Gastroenterology (Endoscopy)
  • Neurology 
  • Ophthalmology 
  • Urology 
  • Vascular Surgery 
  • Orthopaedics 
  • Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery 
  • Gynae

Advice and Guidance 

To support trusts during this challenging period we have also appointed dedicated resources who can provide advice on: 

  • how to optimise the reduced planned capacity,
  • share templates and processes, including patient communication, rescheduling letters and converting to virtual processes
  • rapid implementation of digital technologies and virtual platforms

Recovery Plans 

We have worked with over 50 NHS sites and our teams have extensive experience supporting trusts to develop and implement recovery plans. When the time is right for your teams to begin to develop recovery plans please let us know and we would be more than happy to support.  

To close, and as I am sure you are aware, we are here to support you and can be available to join capacity planning meetings or talk through what additional support we can provide with each of your teams. If there is anything you think we might be able to help with, please do not hesitate to contact me or your local 18WS Service Delivery Manager or: 


Kind regards, 

Alexander Chilvers 
Chief Executive Officer       

Suzie Loader
Chief Nurse

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