Published on: 7th May 2021


We wanted to make you aware of the testing requirements that we apply for any patients coming to the RNOH for a procedure. If you are coming in, you will be required to have a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test three days prior to your procedure. The team will book you an appointment to attend for a COVID-19 test. This will be on the RNOH Stanmore site in a dedicated separate area, carried out by a specially trained team to keep you safe. The test is a simple swab of the back of the throat & nose. If you are unable to make your test appointment or not willing to undertake this test –your surgery may, unfortunately, be delayed. If you have any questions or queries please discuss these with your pre-operative assessment team who will be happy to help or provide you with more information.

  • All inpatients require a PCR test (Polymerase Chain Reaction test, the nasal and throat swabs)
  • Day cases requiring admission to a bed and / or a General Anaesthetic or sedation require a PCR test
  • Outpatient appointment – no PCR test required
  • X-ray, imaging – no PCR test – except if a General Anaesthetic or sedation is required
  • Plaster theatre – no PC test unless the patient is admitted as inpatient

Patients who have received the Covid-19 vaccination are still required to take a PCR test if they fall into any of the relevant groups above. Vaccination will not guarantee that a person will not get infected and/or carry the Covid-19 virus.  An individual’s response to the vaccine varies and depends on a lot of factors including the patient’s immune system response to the Covid vaccine, and they may still be at risk of being infected and/or carry the virus but with potentially less complications or life-threatening effects.  The vaccination also does not guarantee that it covers all of the current Covid-19 strains that are circulating in the wider community.

These tests are a priority for the hospital to ensure you get the procedure or surgery you need. They also help keep you, other patients and our staff, safe. PCR tests are processed under authorised strict laboratory conditions and are the only viable option for pre-surgery testing; no other tests are currently available as an alternative (for example Lateral flow). The PCR tests are simple, safe, and low risk of any harm.