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Face coverings and social distancing to remain in healthcare settings

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Face coverings and social distancing to remain in healthcare settings
16 July 2021

Patients and visitors at our hospital and other Island healthcare settings will still be required to wear face coverings and to socially distance from Monday 19 July.

NHS leaders have explained that whilst restrictions are being lifted in most public places, strict infection control needs to be followed in hospitals and healthcare settings, to stop vulnerable people and staff from being placed at additional risk.

Mary Aubrey, Chief Nurse said: “The community have been so supportive since the pandemic began and we thank each and every person for the changes they have made to their lives to protect each other and our services.

“As restrictions outside of care settings change, we ask people to keep supporting us so that we can keep vulnerable patients safe. If you are attending an appointment or coming to our hospital or other sites for support and treatment, you will still be required to wear a face covering and adhere to social distancing and using hand sanitiser.

“We know that restricted visiting is particularly hard and we review this regularly so that we can welcome visitors as soon as possible. Covid is still at a higher rate in the local community than we would like and until infection rates come down, every visitor increases the risk of infection.”

In addition to keeping vulnerable patients and staff safe as COVID-19 cases rise, the measures will support the continued delivery of services, reducing the opportunity of staff having to self-isolate.  

Mary continued: “If you or your loved one were in our care and in a vulnerable position, you would want us to do everything we should be doing to ensure you had a quick and safe recovery. Everyday we are treating people with compromised immune systems, so it’s important we keep the rules in place for longer, which is also the requirement from the UK Government and NHS England. Please bear with us and please keep helping us so we can provide high quality and safe care.”

In a statement released by the UK Government it sets out that: “Cases will continue to rise as set out from the start of the Roadmap, but the vaccination programme has substantially weakened the link between infection and serious illness or death. Hospitalisations and deaths will continue to rise over the coming weeks and months, but both are far lower than the previous wave.”

As of 12 July there are 28,421 new positive cases in England. 461 people were admitted to hospital with covid and there are 2,352 patients in hospital. The latest ONS estimates show that 1 in 160 people have Covid in England.

Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for NHS England said: “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.

“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.

“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”.

The UK Government COVID-19 Response: Summer 2021 sets out that Health and Care settings will continue to maintain appropriate infection prevention and control processes as necessary and this will be continually reviewed. Guidance will be updated based on the latest clinical evidence this summer.

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