Staff, patients and visitors are required to wear masks in all NHS settings hospitalsAccording to a letter seen by GP practices and dentists in the Midlands independent.
A letter sent to NHS chiefs in the Midlands by NHS England on July 7 said: “It is clear that we have entered the following. COVID-19 wave. In the last seven days we have had a 97 per cent increase in nosocomial Covid-19 cases in acute trusts and a 25 per cent increase in mental health settings, this has also included an increase in the number of patients admitted to critical care beds. In addition, we have also seen an increase in staff absences related to Covid.
“As a result, we recommend that accordingly [UK Health Security Agency] Under guidance from the UKHSA, all providers are reviewing their mask wearing guidance with a view to moving staff to universal mask wearing. This includes colleagues in primary care settings.”
NHS directors in the Midlands, which covers almost 60 hospitals, were also told to encourage patients and visitors to wear masks, but warned that because there was no mandate to do so, they could refuse.
The national guidance comes as hospitals across the country have already begun reintroducing mask mandates weeks after measures were lifted.
At a board meeting on Thursday, NHS medical director Stephen Powys said Covid hospital admissions were expected to reach 15,000 in the next few days. The last time such high rates were in April, during the peak of the fourth wave.
During the January 2021 Covid wave, the number of patients in hospital beds reached over 34,000.
Data from the ZOE Covid app recorded 325,337 Covid infections on July 4. Around one in 10 hospital beds in England are currently occupied by Covid-positive patients, with more than 11,000 beds occupied.
The news comes after NHS figures on Thursday showed that 36 per cent of the 10,330 beds occupied in England on Monday were occupied by patients being treated for Covid.
earlier this week independent Reported staff absences were beginning to disrupt the NHS.
Staff absences also affected the national blood supply, as staff shortages led to cancellations of donation appointments.
The government is also likely to introduce a fourth boost to over-50s, amid fears of further waves of Covid in parallel with the early flu season.
NHS forces mask wearing as covid hospital infections rise by 100%
Source link NHS forces mask wearing as covid hospital infections rise by 100%