Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust requires patients to follow comprehensive social distancing, hand-hygiene measures and self-isolation before arriving at hospital for elective procedures.
Health leaders say those who have not followed the rules will see their procedure cancelled, resulting in a wasted surgery slot at a time when the Trust is working hard to recover following the disruption caused by the pandemic.
More than 14,500 procedures or operations have been carried out during the pandemic, however, the pressure on staff, beds and equipment still meant some non-urgent care had to be postponed during what was an unprecedented time for the NHS.
Marion Dickson, the Trust’s executive director of surgery, said: “Our teams are working as hard as possible to ensure patients can have the procedures they need in as timely a manner as possible, particularly following a period when some will have experienced unavoidable disruption.
“However, we need patients to play their part too and you must follow all of the guidance, which is in place to protect both you and our staff.
"If you don’t, your procedure will not be able to go ahead as planned, which is a frustrating outcome for all involved.
“While the national rules in relation to social contact have relaxed and there is potential further easing to come later this month, those having elective surgery must self-isolate to avoid unnecessary risks.
"This is an absolute requirement and patients shouldn’t pop to the shops or see family and friends even for a short period of time.”