Preparing for your procedure

Our COVID-19 guidance for patients and visitors.

Covid 19 hero banner

The following information has been produced in accordance with the national guidelines from the United Kingdom Health Security Agency to prepare you for a procedure at The London Clinic. It is important that you follow these instructions, to ensure your surgery can proceed, otherwise it may be cancelled or postponed.

If you are unsure on what you need to do, please speak to your consultant or our pre-assessment team.

A nurse and patient going through a form

Limiting exposure to COVID-19

There is evidence that undergoing a procedure while coronavirus positive, or developing coronavirus during your recovery, can cause serious health complications and severely impact your recovery. It is therefore important that you minimise the risk of catching the virus or of passing it on to others. The best ways to do that are by being full vaccinated, wearing a facemask in busy indoor areas, washing hands regularly and keeping your distance from others where possible.

Option 1: No self-isolation

If you are having a minor to moderate procedure, have been fully vaccinated and have no health concerns, you will not be required to self-isolate. Instead, you will need to carry out a lateral flow test on the day of your procedure, and before arriving at the hospital. Please show the email or text confirming your negative result to our front of house team on arrival, and the admitting clinical team. 


Minor to moderate surgery, fully vaccinated, with no existing health conditions

2-14 days prior

Attend on-site or telephone Pre-Assessment appointment, as required

Day of procedure

Complete lateral flow test, and bring email/text that confirms negative result with you

Option 2: Self-isolate for three days

If you are having a minor to moderate procedure, but the assessment by your consultant has identified a concern, for example an existing health condition or that you have not been fully vaccinated, then you will need to self-isolate for three days prior to your procedure. You will also need to complete a PCR test two to three days prior, which our Pre-Assessment team will organise for you.


Minor to moderate surgery, not fully vaccinated or with an existing health condition

2-3 days prior

Attend Pre-Assessment appointment, completing PCR test at the same time.

Start self-isolation period

What next?

Continue self-isolation until admission

Option 3: Self-isolate for 7-10 days

If you are having a major procedure, you will have to self-isolate prior to admission. Your consultant will decide how long, which can be between 7 and 14 days. You will also need to complete a PCR test two to three days prior, which our Pre-Admissions team will organise for you. Attending essential medical appointments, while avoiding public transport, does not break self-isolation requirements. 


Major surgery

7-14 days prior to admission

Start self-isolation, while following social distancing and hand hygiene measures

2-3 days prior

Attend Pre-Assessment appointment

Complete COVID-19 PCR test

What next?

Continue self-isolation until admission

Essential information

Self-isolation is about minimising your interactions with other people, including household members. It is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and others before your surgery, though we understand this may be challenging. If asked to self-isolate, you will need to:

  • Stay at home at all times (but you can use your garden if you have one)
  • Distance yourself from other members of your household
  • Not have any visitors in your home, including other family, except in circumstances where essential care is being provided
  • Avoid all gatherings
  • If you have a carer, they must self-isolate too.

We recommend that you arrange for food, medicines and other essential items be delivered to your home. If you are employed, you will need to take time off work, or work from home to fulfil the self-isolation requirements. Please discuss this with your employer.

Whether you are in one of our buildings, at home or at work, we advise that you take the following additional precautions to reduce your risk of getting or spreading the coronavirus:

  • Regularly wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Alternatively, use hand-sanitiser particularly after eating or using public transport
  • Use disposable tissues when blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing.

We recommend that you sanitise household surfaces and items used continuously, including mobile phones and TV remote controls.

At all times you should maintain vigilant social distancing as recommended by the UK government. This includes:

  • Avoid close contact and remain socially distant (two metres wherever possible) from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble
  • Wear a face covering in all enclosed public spaces.

If you have any of the following symptoms, you must not come to the hospital for your appointment. Please contact us to re-book your procedure.

  • Fever equal to or above 37.8°C
  • New continuous cough (with or without sputum)
  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty of breathing/more breathless than usual
  • Nasal discharge or congestion
  • Loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell

Depending on the procedure being carried out, you may be required to attend a pre-assessment prior to admission. This is to assess whether you are healthy enough to go ahead with the planned procedure, and to confirm you have none of the symptoms linked to the coronavirus (see tab above). If you need additional testing, such as for Covid-19 or MRSA, then you will need to visit our main hospital at 20 Devonshire Place for the assessment.

If you are suffering with any of the symptoms, it may be that you have the coronavirus. If this is the case, please do not attend the pre-assessment and notify your consultant so they can reschedule your admission. You will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days and to complete a PCR test, before your admission can be rescheduled.

The risk of transmission of coronavirus in closed spaces, such as in buses, the London Underground and ferries, remains high. We recommend that wherever possible you travel to The London Clinic via a private vehicle. If this is not possible please use a taxi service. Keep the car well ventilated and sit as far away from anyone else in the car as possible.

We are continuing to minimise the spread of the coronavirus and ask for your support to keep everyone safe, including:

  • Arriving no more than 10 minutes before your appointment time
  • Limiting visitors to one person at a time, unless you need a carer and/or interpreter. We understand that this will be difficult for many of our patients and apologise for this essential requirement. Our team will provide you with as much support as possible during your visit
  • Clean your hands using the supplied sanitiser. If you are wearing gloves, we will still require you to remove them and sanitise your hands in the same way. We ask that you do this at regular intervals during your visit
  • Inpatients with respiratory conditions or a confirmed case of COVID-19 will be provided with a face mask on admission. This should be worn in communal areas, and when being transferred to another area where possible
  • All other inpatients and outpatients will not be required to wear a facemask, unless the patient would prefer to or an issue has been raised by a local risk assessment
  • Respecting social distancing during your visit and ensure that you do not sit closely to others in the waiting rooms.

If going ahead with your procedure required you to be fully vaccinated and to have completed a lateral flow test on the day of admission, please ensure that you bring proof of both with you and show them to our front of house and clinical admissions teams.