NHS staff, patients and visitors will continue to be required to wear face coverings and follow social distance rules

posted by: abbey

The government announced last week that  ‘Plan B’ COVID-19 measures in England, including the wearing of face coverings and the recommendation to work from home if possible, will be lifted from Thursday 27 January. However, Public Health England’s infection prevention control guidelines, including mask wearing, and hospital visiting guidance will remain in place for all staff, patients 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.

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

In response to the emergence of COVID-19 we have implemented a telephone triage system for all of our clinics. Our central telephone number is 0300 303 3989.

We are currently experiencing high demand for our Sexual Health Services across Devon and Torbay with unprecedented demand in Exeter. Please note always review urgent cases the same day. If your need is urgent and you are struggling to reach us keep trying as our phone system will explain how to access same-day care with us.

We have updated information on the provision of routine contraception 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

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