People infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.
In line with recent recommendations from the UK Government, we are introducing new measures to keep visitors, patients, and staff safe.
From Monday, 15 June 2020 you will need to wear a face covering when you come to hospital or care setting as a visitor or outpatient.
What does this mean for me?
We can all play a role in reducing the spread of coronavirus and keeping our hospitals safe. If you are coming to hospital as a visitor, or for planned care, it is important that you wear a face covering at all times. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.
Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website. Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are also acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.
We are asking that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one available when you come to hospital or other Trust site, please see a member of staff on arrival and we will provide you with one. We ask that you only take one mask, these masks are to protect patients and staff and if you take more than one at a time, we will quickly run out and won’t be able to keep everyone safe.
If you are currently shielding, we will provide you with a surgical face mask for your appointments, please use this. If you have not been provided with a surgical face mask, you should wear a face covering and ask for a surgical face mask when you arrive at the hospital
For some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. In these instances, other measures will be considered on a case by case basis, for example timed appointments and being seen immediately on arrival.
If you are a deaf or hearing impaired, our staff have a range of communication options to ensure that they can communicate effectively with you. This might include visual aids such as writing things down, speech to text apps and sign language/gestures.
All visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to face coverings while in the hospital or other sites where you receive care.
Where do I go for more information?
We have produced this leaflet giving guidance on wearing facemasks – Wearing a face mask or face covering during COVID-19