The use of face coverings at our sites from Monday 15 June

From Monday, 15 June 2020, you will need to wear a face covering when you come to hospital as a visitor or outpatient. This is to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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 Somerset NHS Foundation Trust to keep visitors, patients, and colleagues safe.

Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade, and advice on how to wear and make 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.

Please plan in advance and bring a face covering with you whenever possible. If you don’t have one available when you come to one of our sites, supplies will be available at the entrances to our buildings.

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. Please contact your service if you need to discuss this with them.

If you are a deaf or hearing impaired, our colleagues 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. Again, please contact your service if you need to discuss this with them.

Please also ensure that you continue to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to wearing a face covering when you visit any one of our sites.

Thank you for helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19.