Face mask wearing policy

Face Mask Wearing POLICY

The wearing of masks by staff and face coverings by the public will play a role in preventing the spread of infection so that patients and visitors can attend practices without fear of contamination. It will also reduce the risk of a whole team within a practice being required to self-isolate should one member contract COVID-19.

All those carrying out face-to-face consultations should have appropriate PPE. No face-to-face consultation should take place with potentially COVID-infected patients if there is no adequate PPE.

PHE guidance recommends that those working in reception and communal areas who are unable to social distance, should wear a fluid repellent mask.

All staff and visitors must wear face masks / coverings when moving around the building.

Patients should be encouraged to wear face coverings whenever they attend the practice (with practices continuing to use triage arrangements to keep face-to-face contact to a minimum).

Staff should continue to be enabled to work remotely whenever possible, to create more space for social distancing.

Patients arrive / refuse to wear a face mask

Unfortunately, we can’t enforce wearing a mask, but should follow practice policy.

  • Consult via phone or video if applicable to do so.
  • If patient has to be seen f2f then take the following steps:
    • Offer a face mask if arrives without one
    • Offer a visor if cannot tolerate a mask

If patient refuses to wear either

    • Ensure social distancing – patient will have to wait in car / outside until ready to be seen
    • maintain social distancing as far as this is possible, observe hand hygiene measures and ensure members of staff wear appropriate PPE
    • consider booking the patient into a quieter appointment slot, if they don’t need to be seen urgently, or allow them to wait in an area separate to the main waiting area or where there tends to be fewer staff and patients.

Advice taken from the MDU https://www.themdu.com/guidance-and-advice/latest-updates-and-advice/dealing-with-patients-who-decline-to-wear-a-face-covering