The use of face coverings when visiting community hospitals in Wiltshire

The use of face coverings when visiting community hospitals in Wiltshire

People infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.

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

From Monday 15 June 2020 if you visit Warminster, Savernake or Chippenham community hospital sites where there are inpatients wards, you will be provided with a surgical face mask for the duration of your visit. When attending other sites where we do not have inpatient wards, face coverings which are cloth or homemade can be worn.

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 surgical face mask at all times. This is for your safety and the safety of other patients and staff.

Advice on how to wear and make homemade cloth face coverings 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.

If you are coming for an outpatient appointment you will have received instructions in your letter or over the phone about which entrance to use. Do not arrive more than 5 minutes before your appointment. This is to maintain social distancing and to ensure against social gatherings on our sites.

If you are displaying any of the following symptoms then you must not attend your appointment:

  • A persistent cough
  • Fever
  • Loss of taste/smell

Please call the number on your letter should you need to rebook your appointment. You must be at least 14 days free of the above symptoms to attend.

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 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.

Where do I go for more information?

If you have further questions regarding these changes please contact the number on your appointment letter.

Thank you.