As numbers of Covid-19 and other respiratory viruses decrease in the community, Nottingham University Hospitals Trust has decided to ‘pause’ the use of face masks in most clinical areas across its hospital sites.
From Monday 5 June 2023 mask wearing will be optional for patients, staff and visitors in most clinical areas apart from areas with clinical extremely vulnerable patients who may still be at risk of serious complications.
Areas, where people are still required to wear a mask, will be clearly marked with red ‘you are in a high-risk area’ posters at their entrances and masks will still be available at hospital sites for people to wear.
In some instances, staff, patients and visitors may still be advised by infection prevention control to wear a mask, for example when visiting patients with Covid-19. Patients and visitors may also still see some staff wearing masks if they choose to do so.
If a patient is being treated in any area of the hospital and asks a member of staff to wear a mask the member of staff will do so.
Keith Girling, Medical Director for Nottingham University Hospitals, said:
“We regularly review mask-wearing in our hospitals based on national guidance, local epidemiology and risks of cross-transmission of various infectious diseases including Covid-19. Face masks have played a huge part in our efforts to protect many of our most vulnerable patients, staff and visitors and it’s important that they continue to be worn in places where there are clinically vulnerable patients.
“In the vast majority of hospital wards and areas, people will no longer be required to wear a mask, but there will be some clinical areas where people will continue to be instructed to wear surgical face masks.
“We know that although these changes will be welcomed by many, some patients will feel uncomfortable not wearing a facemask, and we would encourage them to ask members of staff to wear a mask during their appointment if they would like them to do so as well.”
The Trust will continue to invite anyone who feels more comfortable wearing a mask to do so if they wish – and we ask that people ‘be kind’ to others who choose to wear one, whatever their reasons for doing so.