Published 6th July 2022 by

The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that some operations and procedures have been postponed, leading to understandable concern if you are waiting for treatment.

NHS Norfolk and Waveney Integrated Care System (ICS) is working hard with partners across the three acute hospitals to get you seen as quickly as possible.

Sometimes procedures cannot go ahead if your fitness decreases considerably, or if a long-term condition has not been under control in the months before the procedure. This can be very hard for you if this happens.

To help support you waiting for a hospital appointment, operation or treatment, a While You Wait portal has been developed on the Norfolk and Waveney ICS website which provides you with advice and support to maintain or improve your health while you wait. This includes tips and information on keeping healthy including a downloadable Exercise at Home guide, mental health resources, and links to local support services within Norfolk and Waveney as well as other trusted sources of information.

If you are waiting longer than expected for their treatment or procedure, it’s important to use this time to get as healthy as you can. Local health leaders are urging anyone that is waiting to maintain their health to make sure that they are fit and ready for their procedure. This is essential to avoid complications during surgery and prepare for a successful recovery.

There are several important ways to maintain, and even improve, your health before surgery, including:

  • Increasing how much you exercise, which builds up strength in your heart and lungs, and also helps you maintain a healthy weight
  • Stop or reduce how much you smoke
  • Drink alcohol within the recommended limits, or less
  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet, and stay hydrated
  • Follow instructions from your healthcare team, including taking all medications

While You Wait also includes information on waiting times, with links to the NHS’s recently launched the My Planned Care website which provides access to average waiting times at hospitals across the country. Each hospital trust has a unique page on this site, which you can access directly without having to contact their hospital or GP practice. It also includes information to help you manage certain condition-specific symptoms and prevent them from getting worse.

Carers, friends, and relatives can also see the information on both While You Wait and My Planned Care websites and, if needed, can help guide you through the detail and support you to make the lifestyle changes that will help you to be best prepared for their treatment or procedure.