Facemasks update: Smiles are back across Sherwood Forest Hospitals from Monday 28 November
Posted Friday, November 25, 2022 12:41 PM
Facemasks will no longer need to be worn in non-clinical areas of three local hospitals from next week, as Sherwood Forest Hospitals prepares to return to pre-pandemic social distancing measures.
The decision has been made in-line with national infection prevention and control guidance and following careful monitoring of COVID and flu rates across the Trust and in the local area.
The new policy will apply to all staff, volunteers, patients and visitors at King’s Mill, Newark and Mansfield Community Hospitals and the Trust’s Sherwood Community Unit from Monday 28 November.
Phil Bolton, Chief Nurse at Sherwood Forest Hospitals, said: “Simple steps like washing our hands, keeping our distance, wearing facemasks and getting vaccinated have been invaluable in keeping COVID numbers under control for so long now.
“Following careful consideration, we feel the time is now right to review our position and remove the need for masks to be worn in non-clinical areas of our hospitals.
“We will do that cautiously, as we know that COVID is not over and we are beginning to see cases of flu in our hospitals. We will keep our position under regular review to ensure we can act decisively to step measures back up, if and when we need to.
“We also know that the most effective thing we can all do to protect ourselves and those we love from COVID and flu this winter is for everyone eligible to come forward to get their vaccines as soon as possible.”
Facemasks will still be required in all clinical areas of Trust sites. These will be clearly signposted with red ‘you are in a high-risk area’ signage, with visitors and patients asked to wear facemasks there to protect others in those higher risk areas.
Masks will continue to be made available in all areas for those who feel more comfortable wearing them.
“While the change will be welcomed by most, we know that some of our patients, colleagues and visitors will feel more comfortable continuing to wear a facemask,” the Trust’s Chief Nurse continued.
“We ask that everyone continues to be kind and respectful to those who continue to wear a facemask in any area of our hospitals – whatever their reasons for doing so may be.”
The Trust will continue to monitor and review its position on a regular basis and will communicate further changes as required.