Following his recent knee replacement, patient Tony Edmonds is reassuring other St George’s patients who are due to have a planned operation or procedure.

Tony, 62, had surgery in August at the South West Elective Orthopaedic Centre (SWLEOC), which provides orthopaedic services to patients of St George’s, Croydon Health Services, Kingston, Epsom and St Helier hospitals.

Tony, who is from Mitcham, says his message to other patients who may have worries or concerns about attending for treatment is: “there are measures in place to protect you, and the staff will keep you safe.”

During the first peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, urgent care and treatment for patients continued, but some routine operations and procedures were postponed. Over the summer, these were safely restarted and patients waiting for important planned surgery – including Tony – were contacted to schedule their treatment.

Tony, who has worked as a lorry driver for over 43 years and played football for 30 of those, was having his second knee replacement – he had surgery on his right knee two years ago in 2018.

Tony said: “Throughout the whole process leading up to and at the time of my operation, I felt like I was in safe hands. When I arrived, I noticed everyone was wearing masks and there were signs in place to help people with social distancing – I was very impressed with how everything was organised.”

To prepare for his operation, Tony was required to isolate for 14 days, have a Covid-19 swab test (three days before his operation), and be clear of any symptoms before being admitted. Other measures in place to protect patients and staff include strict infection control protocols, deep cleaning of theatres and equipment, and dedicated theatres for planned operations away from other areas of the hospital.

Tony added: “The staff on site were superb and helped me to feel comfortable and confident in their care. My recovery is going really well thanks to my surgeon, Mr Alazzawi, and his team.”

Mr Sulaiman Alazzawi, Consultant Trauma and Orthopaedic Surgeon who led Tony’s operation, said: “I’m really grateful to Tony for sharing his experience and helping us to reassure others who may be worried about coming to hospital for their planned operation or procedure.”

“Our teams are working extra hard to keep you safe while you’re in hospital, so please us help you, and come forward for treatment if you need it. You will notice some obvious changes, but many aspects of the care our teams provide hasn’t changed – and our focus remains on providing outstanding care, every time for our patients.”

If you are coming to one of our hospitals for a planned operation or procedure, please click here for more information and to watch a short video showing the steps we’re taking to keep patients and staff safe.