Delivery of urological services (telemedicine and urgent surgery) during COVID-19 lockdown: experience and lessons learnt from a university hospital in United Kingdom.

Our departmental planning for COVID-19 was actioned a week before the lockdown (13th March 2020). We look at a 7- week lockdown activity for all scheduled outpatient clinics and urgent procedures.

A total of 2361 outpatient clinic slots (52. 6% oncology slots and 47.4% benign urology slots) were scheduled during this period. The oncology slots included 330 (26.5%) flexible cystoscopy, 555 (44.7%) prostate cancer and 357(28.8%) non-prostate cancer slots. The benign urology slots included 323 (28.8%) andrology, 193 (17.2%) stones and 603 (54%) lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) slots. Of the total oncology outpatient slots (n = 1242), 66.3% were virtual consultations, 20% were face-to-face and 13.6% were cancelled. Of the total benign outpatient slots (n = 1119), 81% were virtual consultations, 9.7% were face-to-face and 9.3% were cancelled. A total of 116 anaesthetic surgical procedures were carried out, of which 54 (46.5%) were oncological procedures, 18 (15.5%) were benign urological procedures, and 44 (38%) were diagnostic procedures.

Hospitals and urologists can benefit from the model used by our hospital to mitigate the impact and prioritise patients most in need of urgent care. Reorganisation and flexibility of healthcare delivery is paramount in these troubled times and will allow clinical activity without compromising patient safety.

Scottish medical journal. 2020 Aug 20 [Epub ahead of print]

Bhaskar K Somani, Amelia Pietropaolo, Primrose Coulter, Julian Smith

Professor and Consultant Urological Surgeon, Department of Urology, University Hospital Southampton, UK., Associate Specialist in Endourology, University Hospital Southampton, UK., Staff, Patient Service Centre, University Hospital Southampton, UK., Clinical Lead and Consultant Urological Surgeon, Department of Urology, University Hospital Southampton, UK.