Coronavirus COVID-19 Patient Information and Advice

During this outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19), Sussex MSK Partnership East is taking steps to help protect the health and safety of our patients and staff and to ensure that robust plans are in place whilst the national emergency continues.

Coronaviruses are a group of viruses common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020. Further information on the symptoms, management and risks of coronavirus (COVID-19), how to avoid catching or spreading it and what to do if you become unwell or think you may have it can be found at:

NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do. Use this service if:

  • You think you cannot cope with your symptoms at home.
  • Your condition gets worse.
  • Your symptoms do not get better after seven days.

NHS England’s advice is that you should stay at home.  Everyone should use social distancing measures to reduce the chances of catching or passing on the Coronavirus, You can see full information about this at:

Other advice is available at

Service Update

The service is under constant review and may change .  We will update this page with new information as quickly as we can.

Are you waiting for an appointment for an assessment and diagnosis of your condition?

Currently these appointments are going ahead on the telephone. There will no face to face assessment.

The clinician will discuss the diagnosis and/or next steps with you.

Are you waiting for a physiotherapy appointment?

Currently these appointments are going ahead on the telephone.

You will be contacted with a time for a phone appointment by a partner organisation which provides our physiotherapy.   Many physiotherapists are now helping with Covid 19 patients so it may be a few weeks before you hear.

Are you waiting for a group exercise programme?

All group physiotherapy programmes have ceased.

If you were on a waiting list for the ESCAPE-Pain programme, or were in the middle of it, you can access the online version here.

Are you waiting for an appointment with the pain team?

Currently these appointments are going ahead on the telephone. The clinician will discuss the diagnosis and next steps with you.

There will no face to face assessment nor classes.

Are you waiting for an appointment with the rheumatology team?

Currently clinically urgent patients are being contacted.

There is no rheumatology service for routine appointments.

What is happening to patients who need to be seen urgently?

Patients who are urgent or emergency cases are being dealt with appropriately on an individual basis.

Are you waiting for surgery?

In line with Government and NHS England advice and actions to ensure NHS resources are available to treat patients affected by Coronavirus (Covid-19) all routine (not emergency) surgery has been cancelled.

When will I hear about my operation?

If you are on a waiting list for an operation there is no need to contact us as we are holding you on our waiting list.

When routine surgery resumes, we will contact our urgent patients first and then those on our routine waiting list in date order. Over time we will contact all of you.

Please note that the amount of pain you are experiencing is not the only factor that effects whether you are on a routine or urgent waiting list.

Once the national emergency is over it is likely that surgery will restart slowly so you may wait to hear from us for some time.

We know that many of our patients waiting for operations are in pain so please use this website to find out more about how you can reduce this. There is a section on pain here and videos about pain here

What should I do while I wait?

Take a look at the relevant pages for your problem on this website. It is important that, even in this time of limited public movement, you keep moving as much as possible otherwise your symptoms are very likely to get worse.

It is also important to keep yourself as fit as possible for your surgery.  Try to avoid the temptation of eating more chocolate and cakes during lockdown or drinking more alcohol!  It is important to keep your weight down and lose weight if you need to.

Try to do the relevant exercises for your condition. Remember that the more you do these the less pain you will have and the quicker you will recover after your operation.  This page may be helpful.

I’m on a waiting list for a new hip or knee, what should I do?

It is vital that you keep to your pre-surgery exercises. If you are unsure what these are you can use the exercises in the hip and knee surgery booklets below.

Hip and Knee Replacement



Updated 22/4/20