Face mask guidance for patients and the public.
The health and wellbeing of patients and staff remains the top priority for the NHS with infection prevention and control (IPC) key to how we are handling the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in our hospitals, community and mental health settings, as well as general practise.
Evidence has shown that people infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without knowing, so it is important that we take immediate steps to stop the spread of coronavirus in all NHS services.
Following an extensive evidence review, the national Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) has made recommendations on the use of coverings by visitors.
Patients coming to NHS settings for planned and outpatient care will need to wear face coverings to further reduce risk. Face coverings can be homemade, made of cloth and be reusable in line with government guidance on their use on public transport.
We understand that it may be difficult for some patients to wear a face covering and in these circumstances other measures will be considered on a case by case basis. Please contact your local team if you have concerns and would like to discuss alternative arrangements.
These new measures for patients will further help to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in all NHS settings.