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Update to Infection Prevention and Control Guidance

As we enter the winter months, there is likely to be an increase in the number of respiratory viruses, including influenza and COVID, that are circulating in the community and in the number of patients being admitted to hospital with these infections.

In line with current national guidance provided by the UK Health Security Agency, there is no longer a mandatory requirement for visitors, patients and staff entering our hospitals to wear a face mask. For those who prefer to continue to wear a mask, fluid resistant surgical masks will be readily available at our main hospital entrances. Please do help yourself. If you cannot see any then please ask a member of staff on the ward/clinic that you are attending. In our clinical areas, such as wards, where our staff are caring for patients with respiratory infections, you may see staff will wear masks, along with other personal protective equipment, as necessary. They can advise you if you have any queries.

We continuously monitor the local situation, and should we see a significant increase in the number of respiratory infections in our hospitals, then we may revise our advice, as necessary.

We ask everyone to follow these basic infection prevention and control measures in our hospitals:

  • Do not visit the hospital if you have the following symptoms:
    • New onset cough or an ongoing cough that is not improving
    • Raised temperature
    • Diarrhoea and/or vomiting
  • If you do have these symptoms and visiting is essential, and cannot be delayed for a few days whilst you recover, e.g. the patient is very unwell / dying, then please telephone the ward concerned and ask to speak to the nurse-in-charge. We are always keen to support visiting in these situations.
  • Practice good respiratory hygiene: cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing using a tissue or the inside of your elbow. Dispose of tissues immediately following use and clean your hands.
  • Clean your hands on entering and leaving our clinical areas, e.g. wards, using the hand wash basins or alcohol hand sanitiser available inside each patient multi-bed bay and single rooms.
  • Visitors are not routinely required to wear disposable gloves and plastic aprons; but should be worn if you are helping the patient with their personal hygiene care.

Thank you for your continued support in keeping our patients, staff and visitors safe.

David Fluck, Medical Director and Director of Infection Prevention and Control
Ellen Bull. Interim Chief Nurse
The Infection Prevention and Control Team

 

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