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NHS patients, staff and visitors must continue to wear face coverings in healthcare settings

England’s Chief Nurse has today reminded the public that everyone accessing or visiting healthcare settings must continue to wear a face covering and follow social distancing rules as Covid restrictions will end in many settings in England from Monday.

However, Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines and hospital visiting guidance are set to remain in place for all staff and visitors.

That means NHS visitor guidance will stay in place across all health services including hospitals, GP practices, dental practices, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure patients and staff are protected.

Staff, patients and visitors will also be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting any care setting as well as using face coverings, mask and other personal protection equipment.

The NHS will continue to support staff in ensuring that the guidance is followed in all healthcare settings.

Chief Nursing Officer for England, Ruth May said, “Face coverings and social distancing measures will remain in place across healthcare settings so that the most vulnerable people can continue to safely attend hospital, their GP surgery, pharmacy or any other healthcare settings for advice, care and treatment.

“And it is important for the public to continue to play their part when visiting NHS and care settings to help protect our staff and patients, particularly those who may be more vulnerable to infections.

“As restrictions are lifted in many places on Monday everyone has a part to play in helping to control Covid by getting vaccinated and acting responsibly.

“It is vital that in healthcare settings, we do all we can to reduce the risk of infection for those working in our services and those who need our care.”

Lynn Millar, Executive Director of Primary Care and Medicines Optimisation for the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent CCGs said, “The COVID pandemic is still with us and there continues to be transmission in the community. It is therefore vital that we continue to protect each other.  Healthcare settings will continue to make infection control measures a priority. This will include asking people to social distance and to wear face coverings where possible.

 

“We would ask patients to understand that this is for their benefit.”