The study undertook a prospective qualitative survey to ascertain the perceptions and experience of National Health Service patients in the United Kingdom who underwent planned or elective procedures and surgery at alternate ‘clean’ hospital sites during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. These alternate ‘clean’ hospital sites were independent hospitals running active staff and patient testing programmes for COVID-19 and which did not admit or treat patients suffering with COVID-19.

Results: Ninety-five patients (60%) reported that they had prior worries or concerns about undergoing an elective procedure during the COVID-19 pandemic. A total of 47 patients (30%) had delayed their surgery at least once because of these concerns.

Conclusions: Patient confidence will be key to ensuring uptake of planned and elective procedures and surgery during the COVID-19 pandemic. Perceptions of safety will be key to this confidence and efforts to demonstrably enhance safety are well received by patients. In particular, patients felt that a dedicated programme of patient testing and separation of patient pathways provided the greatest levels of confidence in the safety of their treatment.

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