While You Wait
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant some operations and procedures have been postponed. The NHS is working hard to get people seen as quickly as possible.
If you (or someone you care for) are waiting on delayed medical care, you are likely to have concerns and questions.
The NHS in Greater Manchester is offering further information and advice, along with handy resources to help you manage your physical and mental wellbeing.
How to stay as fit and healthy as possible while you wait for your treatment
Where to find any extra support online
Where to find further information about approximate waiting times at different hospitals
What to do if your condition deteriorates.
Due to Coronavirus, and the impact on our local hospitals, there are approximately 35,000 Wigan Borough residents on waiting lists for procedures. We know that many of you have been waiting longer than both you and we would like for your elective care or treatment at the hospital.
The hospital, GP practices and everyone involved in your care are doing their best to reduce the waiting list and the waiting times for patients, whilst also supporting everyone whilst they are waiting.
Here we give you as much information as we can right now, and provide links to some things that may help you stay well whilst you are waiting for your procedure.
More helpful information is also available on the Greater Manchester While you Wait website.
- How long will you wait?
We can’t tell you exactly how long you will wait. We are getting to people as quickly as we can, but we are prioritising those most in need and those who have waited longest.
- Support to keep your mind and body well
Whilst you are waiting to be seen, your condition may start to get a bit worse. If this happens, please do let your GP or consultant know. However, there are things you can do to help you stay as physically and mental fit as possible, and prepare you for your treatment. The healthier you are in your mind and body, the slower you are likely to get worse and the faster you are likely to recover afterwards.
- Support from your community
Wigan Borough has a rich and diverse collection of community support groups and charities that are able to offer you help and support if you need it. We have listed just a few here. Click on an image to go to their website and find out more.
- Support from local health and care services
Your local NHS is still here to support you, and there are many different services that may be of use whilst you wait.
Many of these services are available through your GP practice or though the Healthy Routes service.
Services that may be helpful to you:
Community Link Workers
The Community Link Workers are members of local GP teams offering one-to-one appointments for people age 18. They provide advice & support on a wide range of social issues affecting health & wellbeing. This includes feeling isolated, benefits & welfare, housing, employment & access to education.
Or visit their Facebook page
Mental Health Link Workers
Like Community Link Workers, Mental Health Link Workers work with your GP team, but they also work with our mental health colleagues. They can help you with any low level mental health issues and anxieties.
Contact your GP to be referred.
The Healthy Routes team can help you with weight management, getting more active, stopping smoking and reducing or stopping your alcohol intake, along with other things. They can make a real difference to your health and wellbeing.
If you are aged 40-74, and worried about your general health whilst you wait, and you don’t have any pre-existing long term conditions, you can arrange a health check. This is like a car MOT and you should have one every year if you are eligible. It will help you identify any issues or overcome any concerns before they get serious.
Contact your GP to book, or visit this webpage for more information.
The Think Wellbeing Service is a free NHS therapy for people registered with a Wigan Borough GP with common mental health problems like anxiety or low mood, to help you change the way you feel by changing the way you think.
This service is for adults aged 16 and over with common mental health problems like mild to moderate depression, anxiety and stress. We can help with other problems like panic attacks, phobias and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Visit this webpage to find out more and self-refer, or ring 01942 764449.
Benefits and Welfare
If you think you are eligible for benefits and welfare grants, or need more support, Wigan Council will be able to tell you more about what help and support is available to you.
Understanding your condition
Sometimes things are normal (or not normal) for some conditions, and it is difficult to know. The NHS website is there to help you understand your condition more. This includes what to expect and what to look out for.
Social Care and Support Guide
If you think you may need more support and care at home, and need more help with day-to-day living, but aren’t sure what is on offer, the NHS website offers more information.
- Where to go if you have concerns
The hospital are working hard to make sure that people are being checked to make sure that their condition has seriously changed.
However, if you think your condition is getting alot worse and you don’t have an appointment coming up, you should make sure that the person in charge of your care knows this.
If you have a consultant or specialist nurse at the hospital, you should contact them and let them know of the changes to your condition.
If you don’t, then please contact your GP practice instead and tell them.
- Serious Mental Health Concerns
If you have serious concerns about your mental health and are in, or are reaching, a mental health crisis, please reach out to your GP practice, or any of the specialist support available to you:
- Wigan Borough Mental Health 24/7 Crisis Line: 0800 051 3253
- Samaritans 24/7: 116 123
- Papyrus HOPEline UK (young people) 9am-midnight every day: 0800 068 4141
- Papyrus text service: 07786 209697
- CALM helpline (men) 5pm-midnight every day: 0800 58 58 58
- How you can help the NHS and each other
Whilst we are doing our best to make sure that you get the treatment you require as soon as possible, we also need your help to make sure that waiting times don’t increase due to missed or cancelled appointments.
Where possible, please try to keep your appointments, to help reduce the amount of time you have to wait.
It’s also important to remember that when you fail to attend an appointment, it prevents other people from being seen in your place, meaning our NHS resources cannot be put to the best use.
If you can’t attend an appointment, please let the team know as soon as possible so that they can offer the appointment to someone else and arrange an alternative for you if possible.
Thank you for your help in this.
Information is also available on the Healthier Wigan Partnership website.