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Face mask and visitor guidance for the public

15 June 2020

From Monday 15th June 2020, any visitor to all Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (WWL) sites (outpatient or approved) will be required to wear a face covering or face mask when entering buildings.

In line with recent recommendations from the World Health Organisation and national guidance, these new measures have been introduced to keep our visitors, patients, and staff safe.

Please be aware we still have visitor restrictions in place across all sites and those that can visit are: 

  • a parent/guardian for paediatric (Rainbow ward) inpatients and neonatal wards, 
  • one visitor at a time for an agreed amount of time to patients receiving end of life care (permission must be obtained from the ward sister or charge nurse must be obtained in advance),
  • and one birthing partner from the same household to support a woman in labour will be permitted.

Evidence has shown that people infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and can transmit the virus to others without knowing, so it is important that we take immediate steps to stop the spread of coronavirus in hospitals.

The Trust is urging all visitors to have their own face coverings which can be made of cloth and be reusable in line with government guidance.

If a patient or visitor does not have a face covering when they come to hospital, a face mask will be provided on arrival at our entrances. Please ensure you have a mask before entering for your safety and others.

Face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade and 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.

Those currently shielding who have been provided with a surgical face mask for appointments, should continue to use them. Anyone who has not been provided with a surgical face mask should wear a face covering.

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. 

If you are a deaf or hearing impaired, our staff 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.

All visitors will still be expected to comply with existing social distancing and hand hygiene measures in addition to the face coverings while in the hospital setting.

The Trust would like to thank everyone for their continued patience, co-operation and understanding during this time.