North East NHS hospitals were they’re scrapping mandatory face masks

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SOME North East hospitals have scrapped rules regarding mandatory face masks.

North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust is updating its guidance around the wearing of facemasks in its hospitals.

From Thursday, June 9, any visitors to the University Hospital of North Tees or the University Hospital of Hartlepool will not be required to wear a facemask.

Lindsey Robertson, chief nurse, said: “As of today, visitors will not be required to wear a facemask, with the exception of visiting a high-risk area.

“This is following updated national guidance from NHS England and Improvement this week and is in light of the continued low numbers of COVID-19 in our hospitals and in the community.”

Read more: National hospital and GP mask rules ditched in England

The Trust will still be asking visitors (up to two people per patient) to book an appointment by calling the ward in advance, but will be increasing the number of booking slots on offer.

Lindsey added: “We are pleased to be in a position to be able to relax some of these restrictions as we value the importance of visiting on the recovery of patients.

“We ask visitors in our hospitals to continue to follow instructions from the clinical area you are visiting, wash your hands and use hand gel regularly and avoid visiting if you are feeling unwell.”

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High risk areas include the emergency care department, urgent care, ward 24, ward 25, critical care, special care baby unit, chemotherapy day unit, ward 38 and when visiting patients with COVID-19.

To book a visiting slot, please call North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust on 01642 617617 and ask for the ward your loved one is staying on.

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