COVID-19: Plastic Surgery service guide

May 2020


This information provides guidance on the management of plastic surgery patients across Devon during the COVID-19 pandemic. The information is based on national guidance.

National guidance

Clinical guide for the management of patients requiring plastics treatment during the Coronavirus pandemic

2WW referrals

Only patients with suspected sarcoma, melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and Merkel cell carcinoma should be referred via the two-week wait.

Please include digital photographs with referrals if possible, to streamline triage (localising image, close up image, with or without dermoscopic image). Patient images are acceptable.

The Consultant Connect ® smartphone app can be used on personal devices to take images securely and transfer to clinical systems and e-RS referrals.

Conditions with specific guidance

Urgent referrals

The Plastic Trauma service for adult patients has partially relocated to Care UK, but will continue to run as normally. Inpatient trauma and paediatric trauma remain in Derriford Hospital. Referral pathway remains the same.

Routine referrals

All new routine referrals will be clinically triaged and will either be added to a waiting list or, if appropriate, A&G will be given.

Please ensure that a practice-based system is in place to check daily for returning referrals with A&G.

Prior to making a routine referral, please ensure that any appropriate Policy or CRG has been reviewed and that all the suggested investigations and management options have been considered.

Existing new and follow-up routine appointments have been cancelled and changed to telephone / video consultation where appropriate.

Urgent advice

Please call the on-call plastic surgeon.

Risk factors for face-to-face review will be decided on case by case basis.

Burn related advice can be thought through telemedicine system.

Central email addresses or individual mail will be used for photographic image transfer between healthcare professionals on an individual case basis.

Mobile messaging may be used to communicate, including commercial applications where there is no practical alternative, or when there is a need to share information quickly (see NHSX advice)

Advice & Guidance/Telemedicine services

Burn referrals will be expected to be through telemedicine system.

Covid 19 High risk patient advice

High risk patients should still be referred if required. Decision for face-to-face review will be decided case by case basis by Consultant. Use of telemedicine will be prioritised over face-to-face consultation.

Pathway Group

This guideline has been signed off on behalf of the NHS Devon Clinical Commissioning Group

Last updated: 19-05-2020


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