NHS hospitals continuing to demand patients and visitors wear face masks - despite guidance being dropped

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NHS hospitals continuing to demand patients and visitors wear face masks - despite guidance being dropped

NHS trusts in England have opted to ignore health chiefs by keeping face mask rules in place.

Officials this week dropped all guidance requiring patients to continue wearing face masks inside hospitals, A&E units and GP surgeries.

 

The restrictions remained in place in health settings despite the majority of UK institutions dropping covid face cover mandates.

The guidance in place was scrapped in order to help with "capacity and flow," health bosses said.

Instead of following the national rule, local health bodies were given the freedom to decide on their own policies.

Several trusts are demanding their patients and visitors to wear face coverings as a result.

The Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is one of the bodies keeping the mandate, saying: "We are still asking patients, visitors, staff and anyone working at one of our hospital or community sites to continue to wear a mask, gel hands and social distance while in our buildings despite the lifting of national restrictions.

"This is to keep vulnerable people as safe as possible."

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is another local body that has carried on the face covering requirements, saying it is to help control the spread of not just Covid, but other illnesses also.

They said: "All visitors to wards must wear a mask to protect our patients and staff from the spread of Covid and other infections."

A letter from NHS England, sent out last week, tells staff to continue wear face coverings when dealing with Covid patients.

They are told to keep wearing them in areas where infected patients may be in the vicinity, such as A&E.

Sir Stephen Powis, the national medical director, and Duncan Burton, deputy chief nursing officer, penned the letter, saying most patients and staff no longer need face masks, unless they have a "personal preference" to do so.

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