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Who and when you should wear a medical mask in a clinical or care setting.

Cyhoeddwyd gyntaf:
13 Mehefin 2020
Diweddarwyd ddiwethaf:

Who should wear a medical mask in clinical or care settings?

Health and social care staff should wear a medical mask in settings where direct care is provided within 2 metres, according to infection prevention and control guidance published by Public Health Wales.

Do health care staff need to wear a medical mask in non-clinical settings?

Health care staff do not need to wear a mask in non-clinical settings. Social distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette measures should be in place. If social distancing is impossible then staff should be allowed to wear a mask.

Do social care staff need to wear a medical mask when not providing direct care?

Social care staff do not need to wear a mask when not providing direct care.  Social distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette measures should be in place. If social distancing is impossible in care homes, staff should be allowed to wear a mask.

Do health and social care employers have to ensure staff can maintain social distancing?

Yes, health and social care employers in Wales are under a legal duty to ensure staff can social distance wherever possible. Where this is not possible due to clinical/ caring duties national infection prevention and control guidance should be followed with PPE provided as advised.

Do all visitors to hospitals need to wear a medical mask?

No, visitors to hospitals are not usually required to wear a medical mask.

The number of visitors to patients in hospital should still be limited. The exception to this would be if an individual who had received a shielding letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales (including a carer of patient or child who is on the Welsh Shielded list) absolutely had to attend hospital to visit a loved one, for example if a relative was receiving end of life care. Shielded individuals would otherwise not normally be advised to visit.  Masks should be provided to people in this category if required.

Is there anyone who should wear a medical mask when visiting health or social care facilities?

Welsh Government recommends that people who have received a shielding letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales (including a carer of patient or child who is on the Welsh Shielded list) should wear a medical mask when there is an unavoidable need to access health or social care settings.  Masks should be provided to people in this category if required.

Are there other precautions required to ensure reduced risk of infection transmission from and to visitors to health and social care settings?

Some visitors may choose to wear face coverings, particularly if they themselves are in vulnerable groups. Health care providers should ensure that when visits are being arranged, social distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette measures are in place and reinforced.

Do patients attending outpatients need to wear a medical mask?

Most people attending outpatient appointments do not need to wear a medical mask although some may choose to wear a face covering. The only exception are those patients who are currently on the Welsh Shielded list. Should people on the Welsh shielded list need to attend an out-patient appointment or diagnostic procedure then they should use a medical mask.  NHS organisations will provide medical masks to the shielded community.  The need for those who are shielding to attend health and care settings should be minimised and visitors to wards should remain limited.

Do visitors to care homes need to wear a medical mask?

In line with the statement made on Tuesday 9th June, face coverings are not recommended for visitors to care homes, when visits are outdoors and social distancing is maintained.

Some visitors may choose to wear face coverings, particularly if they themselves are in vulnerable groups. Care Homes should ensure that when visits are being arranged that social distancing, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette measures are in place and reinforced.

Why is this advice different from that in England?

Health care is devolved across the UK so each country is responsible for the advice it provides.  There is generally little clear evidence one way or another regarding the benefits of mask wearing.  Welsh Government follows the advice provided by its professional experts.

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