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Region united on retaining pandemic safety measures

NHS health teams across the region are set to continue with the current pandemic safety measures for the foreseeable future to help protect everyone from infections such as Covid-19 and flu.

The safety measures introduced nationally during the pandemic have helped not only protect staff, patients and visitors over the past year, but enabled the NHS to continue providing many of the non-urgent services that would otherwise have been postponed.

That’s why health organisations locally have agreed to continue with enhanced infection control measure across hospitals, primary care, ambulances and NHS community services.

To keep everyone as safe as possible our staff, visitors and outpatients will continue to wear face masks, socially distance and wash their hands regularly.

While the Government roadmap plans to remove measures like this from everyday life from Monday, July 19, it’s vital that the public can be confident about accessing or visiting local healthcare services safely.

It’s important to recognise that while life starts to return to normal in public spaces healthcare settings come with different challenges and have more vulnerable and poorly people.

With that in mind, the region is planning to keep the measures in place as the NHS heads into another winter facing increasing demand and pressure on services.

In hospitals particularly, wearing masks, social distancing, pre-booking visitor slots and washing hands on entry has really helped keep people safe and stop the spread of Covid-19, so it’s hoped that continuing with these measures will also prevent people spreading flu, norovirus and other variants during the rest of the year.

Lyn Simpson, chief executive of North Cumbria integrated care and co-chair of the North East and North Cumbria provider collaborative, said: “As healthcare providers we have a duty to protect patients and our staff so we aim to continue with these measures into the future.

“NHS settings provide a different challenge than public areas and it’s clear that robust infection prevention control measures will continue to be vital in protecting people into the future. All our services are again coming under massive pressure so anything we can do to help reduce this should be welcomed.

“While the vaccination programme has been a huge success in protecting the population, we look after some of the most vulnerable people in society at a time when they are often very ill. We hope these measures will protect patients and help us continue providing services by reducing staff absence and the need to close wards for things like Covid, flu or norovirus.”

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