NHS leaders have confirmed that there will be no immediate changes to the current COVID-secure arrangements in healthcare settings from Monday, July 19 when restrictions are eased elsewhere.
This means all staff, patients and visitors must continue to follow guidelines, including wearing a face covering and complying with social distancing and hand hygiene guidance as before and visiting restrictions will remain in place.
Dr Karl Marlowe, Chief Medical Officer for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, said: “The evidence quite clearly shows that COVID infections rates in Oxfordshire are a great cause for concern and that our health services must continue to exercise extreme caution. Nationally the number of hospital admissions with COVID-19 is rising.
“We have a duty of care to do all that we can to keep our patients, service users and staff as safe as possible. In our community hospitals, mental health wards and in the community, our clinical teams are caring for people with complex conditions that make them vulnerable to infection. Please continue to wear a mask, maintain social distancing and observe hand hygiene if you are visiting any of our sites, to maintain a Covid secure NHS.”
Professor Meghana Pandit, Chief Medical Officer at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, added: “In our hospitals, we care for the sickest and most vulnerable patients, and we must do everything possible to keep them safe. Even if you have had two vaccinations, you can still carry and pass on COVID-19 to others. We are therefore asking visitors and patients coming to our hospitals to continue to follow the guidelines, wear a face covering, follow social distancing guidance and use good hand hygiene.
“When someone brings a community-acquired COVID-19 infection into the hospital, they could affect other patients, visitors and our staff. For some of our patients a COVID-19 infection could be fatal, or severely delay their treatment for other diseases/procedures.
“We also have to protect our staff. If ward staff have to isolate, then we may have to postpone appointments or planned operations. And finally, we need to protect our visitors who are so important for our patients’ wellbeing. If a visitor or the patient that they are visiting tests positive for COVID-19, then visits are no longer possible.”
The NHS in Oxfordshire is asking patients and the public, whether or not they are vaccinated, to obey these rules in their buildings to protect patients, staff and other visitors.
Non-urgent advice: Safety rules
For the safety of all our patients, visitors and staff please:
- Wear a mask at all times (unless exempt)
- Use sanitiser or wash your hands for 20 seconds
- Maintain 2 metres distancing
- Keep left in corridors
- Adhere to the signs showing the maximum number of people in a room/lift
- Don’t use seats that are taped off
- Observe visiting rules
- Ask a member of staff if you are not sure
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Published: 29 July 2021