Covid-19: Patients in hospitals on the rise, as masks to remain in healthcare settings

Patients, visitors and staff in hospitals across Sussex will be asked to continue wearing masks as Covid restrictions are set to be lifted on Monday (July 19).

Friday, 16th July 2021, 1:05 pm
Updated Friday, 16th July 2021, 1:05 pm
Worthing Hospital (Credit: Eddie Mitchell)

NHS England issued the guidance yesterday (July 15) and said it includes hospitals, GP practices, dental practices, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure patients and staff are protected.

It comes as The University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust, which runs hospitals in Chichester, Worthing, Brighton and Haywards Heath, said it has 29 patients with Covid across the four sites today (July 16).

There are 14 at Royal Sussex in Brighton (including three in critical care), three at Princess Royal in Haywards Heath (all in critical care), one at the Royal Alexandra children’s hospital in Brighton, five at Worthing Hospital and six at St Richard’s in Chichester (with three in intensive care).

Yesterday (July 15), there were 23 cases across the hospitals, with six in critical care.

Ruth May, chief nursing officer for England, said: “Face coverings and social distancing measures will remain in place across healthcare settings so that the most vulnerable people can continue to safely attend hospital, their GP surgery, pharmacy or any other healthcare settings for advice, care and treatment.

“And it is important for the public to continue to play their part when visiting NHS and care settings to help protect our staff and patients, particularly those who may be more vulnerable to infections.

“As restrictions are lifted in many places on Monday everyone has a part to play in helping to control Covid by getting vaccinated and acting responsibly.

“It is vital that in healthcare settings, we do all we can to reduce the risk of infection for those working in our services and those who need our care.”

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Health Minister Jo Churchill said: “Face coverings have played an important role in healthcare settings, helping protect vulnerable patients, staff and visitors by limiting the spread of this deadly disease and this guidance remains in place.

“We expect patients, visitors and NHS staff to continue using face coverings and maintain social distancing in all healthcare settings as we cautiously lift restrictions on Monday.

“I urge everyone to play their part and think of those more vulnerable than you when visiting your local hospital or GP surgery.”