NHS Patients, staff and visitors must continue to wear face coverings in healthcare settings

posted by: Jonathan Shaw

COVID-19 restrictions will end in many settings in England from Monday. However, Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines, including mask wearing, and hospital visiting guidance will remain in place for all staff and visitors.

Staff, patients and visitors will be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting any care setting, as well as using face coverings, masks and other personal protection equipment. NHS visitor guidance will stay in place across all health services including hospitals, GP practices, dental practices, optometrists and pharmacies to ensure patients and staff are protected. This includes all Devon Sexual Health clinics.

Read the full national update here, including a statement from Ruth May, Chief Nursing Officer for England.

Professor Helen Stokes-Lampard, Chair of the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges said: “It is absolutely right that basic infection prevention and control measures stay in place in healthcare settings. Simple steps such as wearing a face mask and keeping a safe distance away from others are a minor inconvenience but could have a profound positive impact when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable and I strongly support the chief nurse with this clear reminder.”

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Accessing our service during the COVID pandemic

We have implemented a telephone triage system for all of our clinics. This system will be in place for the duration of the pandemic. Our central telephone number is 0300 303 3989.

We have updated information on the provision of routine contraception during this pandemic here.

Self-requested STI testing by post is available for those aged under 25- more info

We are now running an under 18’s sit and wait clinic at Exeter, Torquay, and Barnstaple for more information click here

Despite any changes made to COVID risk measures outside of NHS premises our staff, patients and visitors will be expected to continue to follow social distancing rules when visiting our clinics, including wearing a face covering. If you have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been requested to self-isolate please do not attend the clinic.

If you are struggling to access sexual health services, alternatives may be available:

  • Emergency Contraception - from a local pharmacy - more info
  • Contraceptive pills and LARC procedures - obtained from your GP
  • HIV PEPSE - available via A+E departments - more info
  • Condoms by post (for gay and bisexual men only) - more info