Worcestershire Royal Hospital scrap covid face masks rules | Redditch Advertiser – Redditch Advertiser

Masks will no longer be needed when visiting county hospitals.

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust has today confirmed that guidance on mask-wearing has been relaxed.

This is in response to a change in the national guidelines and will impact sites such as Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

A tweet from the Trust read: “We’re following national guidance and relaxing our guidance on mask-wearing for visitors to our hospitals from today.

“You can still wear one if you’d prefer though.”

NHS England’s national medical director, Professor Sir Stephen Powis, and Duncan Burton, deputy chief nursing officer for England, penned a letter to all local health bodies highlighting new infection control guidance set out by the UK Health Security Agency.

“Thank you for everything you and your teams have done over the last two-and-a-half years,” they wrote.

“We know that the pandemic and associated IPC (infection prevention and control) measures continue to have an impact on your capacity and flow, with numbers of Covid-19 patients still elevated and some additional measures still in place.

“IPC guidance has continued to evolve throughout the pandemic, and we are now setting out further changes following updates from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).”

“Any IPC measures beyond those contained in those publications is a matter for local discretion.

“We understand that there may be a period of transition as providers make changes to their operating procedures, especially given local variation in Covid-19 infection levels.”

Patients visiting GP surgeries or hospital outpatient appointments and people attending A&E no longer need to wear masks “unless this is a personal preference”, the letter states.

But those with respiratory symptoms – such as a cough – should wear a face mask or face covering “if tolerated”.

Patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19 or suspected to have Covid should be provided with a face mask when they are admitted to a ward or in a communal area “if this can be tolerated and it is deemed safe for the patient”, the letter adds.

According to the Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust website, masks are not needed on their sites unless “for personal reasons, you would like to”.

However, face masks will be offered if you are visiting the following areas:

  • Intensive Care (ITU)
  • Neonatal unit
  • Oncology wards
  • Haematology wards
  • Gastroenterology wards
  • Respiratory wards
  • Emergency Department (ED/A&E) triage areas
  • COVID wards
  • COVID outbreak areas

Several hospitals across the county have continued asking patients to wear masks.

 

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