Wearing face coverings in our hospitals

From Monday 15 June all visitors and patients coming to hospital must wear face coverings at all times.

This new measure has been introduced following the announcement by Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, which was made in line with recent recommendations from the World Health Organisation (WHO), and is aimed at keeping visitors, patients and staff as safe as possible.

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; wearing a face covering can help to prevent the spread of this virus.

Face coverings are different to face masks in that they can be homemade, made of cloth, and be reusable.

Information on how to make a face covering can be found on the government website.

The WHO has also published guidance on how to wear a non-medical fabric mask safely.

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.

If you are currently shielding and have been provided with a surgical face mask for your appointments, please continue to use this. If you have not been provided with a surgical face mask, you should wear a face covering.

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 deaf or hearing impaired, our staff have a range of communication options to ensure that they can communicate effectively with you. This might include the use of clear masks where possible, as well as visual aids such as writing things down.

All visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to the face coverings while in the hospital setting.