People accessing health services in the district must continue to wear face coverings

Healthcare organisations across Bradford District and Craven have come together to remind people accessing health services that they must continue to wear face coverings, follow social distancing guidance and any other on-site information to keep themselves, other patients and healthcare professionals safe.

The advice comes shortly before legal restrictions are lifted on Monday 19 July as part of the final steps of the Government’s coronavirus roadmap. Healthcare organisations across the district have issued the joint reminder as they will continue to ask people to wear face coverings when accessing health services unless they are exempt.

This means people should wear a face covering when visiting GP practices, community health centres, and hospitals in the city. In addition social distancing measures are expected to remain as well as access to hand hygiene facilities.

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.

Every effort has been made to facilitate social distancing – patients are being asked to keep their distance from other people. Signs giving instructions are on display in all buildings.

Amanda Stanford, Chief Nurse and infection Prevention Lead at Airedale NHS foundation Trust said: “We understand that for many people the final lifting of the lockdown measures by the Government will be greeted with a sense of relief and they will want to have a sense of normality returning to their lives. However, we must continue to remember that the pandemic is very much here and we must continue to exercise caution in all settings – in particular where there are likely to be vulnerable patients.

“By continuing to wear face coverings and following any other on-site advice, we will work together to keep our patients, their families and our colleagues safe.

“We also want to use this opportunity to ask everyone who has not had their Covid vaccine to come forward. It is really easy to get your vaccine as we have walk-in centres across our district,  offering a convenient option with no booking required. It’s very important that people have both doses of the vaccine for maximum protection.”

The announcement has been supported by Airedale NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford District Care NHS Foundation Trust, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and NHS Bradford District and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group.