Coronavirus: Visiting and wearing face coverings

Patient information

Easy read – Wearing a face covering or mask

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The use of face coverings when coming to hospital at RDASH

In line with recent recommendations from the World Health Organisation, we are introducing new measures at RDASH to keep visitors, patients, and staff safe.

From Monday, 15 June 2020 you will need to wear a face covering when you come to hospital as a visitor or outpatient.

What does this mean for me?

We can all play a role in reducing the spread of coronavirus and keeping our hospitals safe. If you are coming to hospital as a visitor or for planned outpatient care, it is important that you wear a face covering at all times. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.

Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and advice on how to wear and make one can be found on the government website. Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are also acceptable, providing they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.

We are asking that you plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible, but if you do not have one available when you come to hospital, please see a member of staff on arrival and we will provide you with one.

If you are using your own face covering please take it home with you.

If you do not have a face covering a face covering or mask will be provided by the hospital on arrival.

These will be available through reception staff during the hours of 9am-5pm Monday to Friday.

Out of hours, a member of the ward staff will greet you and provide you with a face mask.

You will be asked by the staff member to dispose of the face mask as you exit the building in the waste bin provided.

If you are currently shielding and have been provided with a surgical face mask for your appointments, please continue to use this. If you have not been provided with a surgical face mask, you should wear a face covering.

For some people, wearing a face covering may be difficult due to physical or mental health conditions. In these instances, other measures will be considered on a case by case basis, for example timed appointments and being seen immediately on arrival.

If you are a deaf or hearing impaired, our staff have a range of communication options to ensure that they can communicate effectively with you. This might include the use of clear masks where possible, as well as visual aids such as writing things down, speech to text apps and sign language.

All visitors will be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to the face coverings while in the hospital setting.

Frequently Asked Questions about face masks and face coverings

Visiting Arrangements in Inpatient Services

Following the recent change in government guidance the Trust has reviewed the policy of not allowing visiting in inpatient services. We are pleased to share that we now feel we are able to support visiting in inpatient services, within the limits set out below:

  • Only ONE person can visit a patient at any one time
  • The visit must take place in an OUTDOOR SPACE
  • Both patient and visitor must maintain the 2 metre social distancing rule

Before you visit, there are some things to be aware of that will be different to usual in view of the current circumstances, these are:

  • Staff will discuss with you if you have had any symptoms or whether there are any contacts in the households with COVID-19. If the answer to either of these is yes, the visit will need to be rearranged for another time.
  • Staff will then discuss with you and the person you are visiting:
  • Where the visit will take place outside
  • How long the visit will be
  • A time for the visit to take place, to ensure that there is no overcrowding and that social distancing can be maintained in the outside space
  • Where you need to initially report to
  • On arrival , you will be asked to wear a face mask which we will provide for you
  • Where possible, we ask that you do not use public transport to visit, however, the Trust acknowledges that in some circumstances this may be the only way that visitors can attend the unit.

Finally, whilst we will do all that we can to support you to safely visit your loved ones, please note that our staff must feel empowered to make safe decisions regarding visitors and these decisions will be taken on a case-by-case basis and therefore if it is not felt that a visit can be safely facilitated at the current time, you will be asked not to visit and another time arranged when this can be done safely.

St John’s Hospice

We are allowing one visitor which has to be an immediate family member or carer.