You wouldn’t miss your wedding day – so why risk missing your hospital operation?

You wouldn’t miss a major life event – a wedding, the birth of your child, an anniversary or a big cup final.

So why would you do anything to risk missing your surgery date?

As non-urgent operations return following a period of postponements due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are appealing to patients.

In one week alone, almost £15,000 was wasted on missed operations at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust – many of these caused by people not following national guidance to quarantine 14 days before surgery.

Orthopaedic surgeon Chris Tulloch, the Trust’s deputy medical director, is pictured here with his wife Lesley on their wedding day as they mark 43 years of marriage today.

He said: “Like so many others, my wedding day was the most important day of my life.

“NoChris Tullochne of us would consider missing a milestone event in our lives. We would do everything in our power to make sure we were there.

“So why would we do anything that might jeopardise something as important as a surgery date?

“Operations transform lives for the better – for someone who has had something like knee or hip pain, surgery means they can live a life free from major pain and discomfort.

“We are appealing to anyone waiting for an operation to follow the recommended 14-day isolation period – this is so important for everyone’s safety and means your date won’t need to be rearranged.”

For anyone with a hospital appointment or a surgery date, Mr Tulloch has an important message of reassurance.

He said: “We know people have concerns about coming into hospital and we understand that. We have a number of measures in place that mean coming into hospital is extremely safe.

“These include staggering appointment times so patients don’t meet and creating ‘clean areas’ in the building.

“If patients are still too concerned then we can rearrange their appointments – but we are urging people to come in and have the treatment they need as soon as they can.”

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