The measures affect all hospitals across England and have been brought in by the Government to protect patients and staff based on evidence that:
- people who work in a hospital environment are more likely to catch coronavirus whether they work in a clinical setting or not.
- face coverings can help reduce the risk of transmission if you are suffering from coronavirus including those who are not showing symptoms.
Face coverings should cover the mouth and nose while allowing the wearer to breathe comfortably and can be as simple as a scarf or bandanna that ties behind the head to give a snug fit.
Last month, the Government set out advice for people on how to make their own face coverings easily at home, using scarves or other textile items
If anyone arrives at the hospitals without a face covering, a medical grade face mask will be provided in emergencies.
These can be collected everyday from the following hospital entrances:
- Addenbrooke’s main entrance (06.00 - 22.00)
- Rosie main entrance (06.00 - 20.00)
- ATC (06.00 - 20.00)
- Outpatients (08:00 – 18:00)
- Medical grade face masks will continue to be handed out to each patient who comes into Accident and Emergency.
Patients who are shielding, and have been provided with a surgical facemask for their appointments, should ensure these are worn. Where not already provided, patients should wear a face covering and they will be offered a medical grade face mask on arrival at their clinic.
Patients and visitors should wash their hands or use hand sanitiser before putting their face covering on and after taking it off.
It is important that, wherever possible, people don’t touch their face covering when wearing it to avoid hand to mask transmission of the virus.
Non medical, or cloth face masks are only effective when used alongside other preventative measures such as:
- Social distancing – keeping two metres apart
- Regular hand washing
- Avoiding touching your face
- Respiratory hygiene – using a disposable tissue if you sneeze, or coughing into your elbow
- Cleaning surfaces regularly
The expectation is that all patients will wear a face covering, or a face mask, with the exception of pre-school children, older children who are distressed, people with learning disability and people with clinical reasons not to wear a mask.
Medical grade face masks should be safely disposed of in the bins provided at the main entrances.
Liam Brennan, deputy medical director for Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (CUH), said: “These measures are being brought in to hospitals all over England as a means of protecting patients, staff and visitors.
“From Monday, everyone inside the hospital will be required to wear a mask or face covering.
“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.
“We appreciate not everyone will find it easy to wear a mask, but we would encourage everyone to show their support for these measures, as they are designed to keep us safe from this devastating disease.”
The face mask policy will be in place at the hospital until further notice.