ALL STAFF and visitors will be required to wear a face mask in clinical areas in the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick from tomorrow (25 June) onwards following new government guidance.
Visitors will be asked on arrival at the hospital to remove any face coverings they are wearing and to put on a mask that will be provided.
Masks, along with hand sanitiser and bins, will be located outside clinical departments and at the entrances to the hospital.
There will be information available which should be followed so that masks are put on and taken off correctly.
Director of nursing and acute services Kathleen Carolan said: “This is important because it is recognised that some people are unaware that they have the virus and do not have any symptoms.
“This additional measure will help to prevent transmission of the virus from the person wearing the face mask to other people.”
NHS Shetland said it has done a “lot of work to ensure that we maintain physical distancing rules wherever possible and put in place safeguards where this is not possible”.
Ensuring that staff have access to masks is one of the measures in place to reduce the transmission of the virus when physical distancing is not practical, the health board added.
Staff are already wearing masks in the majority of clinical departments.
Carolan added: “Communicating effectively with patients and relatives is really important and staff may remove the face mask if it is making communication very difficult, for example if someone has a hearing impairment.
“If this is the case, then staff will maintain physical distance if a face mask is not appropriate while speaking to patients.”
There will be signage in place around the Gilbert Bain Hospital providing information about hand hygiene, physical distancing requirements and departments where there is controlled access – for instance, a maximum number of people in the department at a time.
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