Patients, staff and anyone working with Leeds Teaching Hospitals are being asked to continue wearing a mask on site and socially distance, even after ‘Freedom Day’ on Monday (19 July 2021).
Whilst restrictions are being lifted in most public places, strict Infection Control needs to be followed in hospitals and healthcare settings, to stop vulnerable people from being placed at additional risk, as the delta variant, 60% more infectious than the previously dominant alpha variant, continues to spread.
Staff at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, including Leeds General Infirmary, St James’ University Hospital, Chapel Allerton, Seacroft and Wharfedale, are working hard to ensure appropriate infection control is just as important as it ever was.
Dr Phil Smith, Chief Medical Officer at Leeds Teaching Hospitals explains:
“We’re incredibly thankful for the support the public and our patients have given us over the past 15 months. We recognise that keeping our guidance in place must feel strange for people as we all return to a more ‘normal’ life, but with highly transmissible strains of the virus in circulation, in addition to our patients’ vulnerability, there will be no change to our current guidance. We are calling on the public to keep supporting us so that we can keep vulnerable patients safe.”
Lisa Grant, Chief Nurse and Infection Prevention Control lead, says:
“Covid is still at a higher rate in the local community than we would like and until infection rates come down, every visitor increases the risk of infection either coming into our hospital or going out with a visitor.
“If you or your loved one had a compromised immune system or were recovering after a serious operation, you would want us to do everything we could to keep them safe. Patients with these conditions are being treated in our hospitals every day, so we need to keep rules in place for a bit longer. Please bear with us and please keep helping us so that we can help you and your loved ones.”
The Trust highlights that plans remain in place to maintain infection prevention and are asking people to wear a mask in hospital/NHS buildings, to wash hands regularly and to practice social distancing. Visitors will also continue to be restricted in hospital, with limits to the number of people accompanying others to appointments.
The Trust is following Public Health guidance and is joined by many other trusts across the country, all calling for the same guidance. This will continue to be reviewed.
This post is based on a press release issued by Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust