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While you wait

The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that some operations and procedures have been postponed, leading to understandable concern for those waiting. The NHS is working hard to get people seen as quickly as possible.

 
The NHS Constitution gives you the right to receive your non-urgent, consultant-led treatment within 18 weeks from the day your appointment is booked through the NHS e-Referral Service, or when the hospital or service receives your referral letter. However, this does not apply if you choose to wait longer, or it is clinically appropriate that you wait longer. Read more about the NHS guide to waiting times.
 
Every effort is being made to reduce waiting times for patients. All our hospital teams across Norfolk and Waveney are working together to find ways to reduce waiting times with the aim of getting to you as soon as possible.
 
If you (or someone you care for) are waiting on delayed medical care, you are likely to have concerns and questions. Please read our leaflet for further information including contacts for the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) teams in our three local hospitals.
 
If you’ve got a question about waiting times, visit the FAQs page below.
 

What you can do to help make sure your procedure goes ahead

Take action to make sure that you are fit and ready for your procedure. This is essential to avoid complications during surgery and prepare for a successful recovery.
 
If you have a long-term health condition, it should be under control before your procedure. If you are not fit enough for surgery or your health condition is not under control, your procedure may be postponed.
 
Watch this video for some quick tips on what you can do to be ready for your procedure and improve your recovery period:
 
The pages below have some quick tips and links to resources to help you improve and maintain your health before your treatment.

 

 

Keep moving to maintain your health

Keeping an active lifestyle is good for your health and if you are normally an active person it is important to keep that up before your procedure to maintain your fitness.
 
People with low activity levels can improve their fitness levels within as little as 4 weeks. This gives you an opportunity to get fitter before your procedure and improve your chances of a better and quicker recovery.
 
The more you exercise and move your body regularly, the more fit you will be. With better fitness levels you can:
  • help to reduce complications during your procedure
  • reduce length of hospital stay
  • recover more quickly and return to your normal quality of life more quickly
Exercise regularly to keep up your level of fitness. Here are some top ways you can keep up your fitness levels through exercise and increased movement:
 
Keep moving when you’re at home:
  • Don’t sit down in front of the computer or television for long periods of time without moving. Sitting still for long stretches makes your muscles tighten up and your circulation slow down.
  • Break up your time spent being inactive by walking around your home or standing up from your chair and doing simple stretches during TV advert breaks or when you’re on the phone.
  • Stretch out your arms and legs while you’re making a cuppa, holding onto the bench if you need support. Lifting light weights, such as a tin of beans or the milk carton, can help increase blood flow to your muscles too.
  • There are many activities you could do at home, such as walking up and down stairs, dancing, gardening, housework, or taking part in online fitness classes. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s something you enjoy and keeps you moving.
  • Download this gentle exercise booklet which contains safe exercises anyone can do at home whilst they wait for their procedure.
  • For ideas and videos to keep active at home visit activenorfolk.org/active-at-home
  • Search for online fitness classes and face-to-face fitness classes in the Waveney area at https://www.activesuffolk.org/activities
  • Find additional activity ideas and videos at http://www.nhs.uk/keepactive and www.ageuk.org.uk
Find outdoor activities
Getting outside for exercise in the fresh air is invigorating and can help to reduce anxiety and improve your overall mental health.
 
Exercising with a friend or in a larger group setting like an exercise class or sports club can provide a supportive and enjoyable experience and bring many social benefits too.
 
  • A brisk walk during the day can do wonders for your health. Make a regular date with a friend, neighbour, or family member to walk regularly throughout the week.
  • If you’re looking for ideas of good places to walk, the Active Norfolk Active Outdoors page has ideas and links to information sources such as Trails networks and Woodlands finder.
  • Find your nearest parkrun. These weekly 5K walking and running events take place every Saturday morning in locations across the county. It’s not a race, it’s a community exercise opportunity where everyone goes at their own pace. Friendly and welcoming environment, they also offer volunteering opportunities, too
  • Find an activity you’ll enjoy using the Every Move activity finder developed by Active Norfolk. This finder contains hundreds of activity opportunities to help you find the right one for you.
As with any exercise, speak to your GP or consultant before you start any new activity to make sure it’s appropriate and safe for your condition.
 
Don’t do anything that doesn’t feel comfortable and trust your instincts about your own limits. Stop if you are feeling any pain or lightheaded and make sure you drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

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