While the Government is lifting restrictions on Monday, 19 July, it has asked that everyone continues to act carefully and remain cautious in their approach to everyday life.
That is especially true for healthcare services; where some patients don’t have as much immunity to the virus as others.
NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group’s Chief Nurse Paula Wilkins said: “The virus has not gone away and we must do all we can to protect patients and staff from it and keep it under control.’’
All healthcare settings in Kent and Medway will keep the current infection prevention and control (IP&C) measures that are already in place.
- masks will still need to be worn by patients, visitors, staff and anyone else entering a healthcare setting – this incudes hospitals, clinics and GP practices
- masks will also continue to be worn by healthcare staff entering a patient’s home
- social distancing will remain – both in waiting rooms and in wards beyond 19 July
- a flow of fresh air will be encouraged in all healthcare buildings
- some restrictions managing visitor numbers may still apply – this may vary depending on space available and other service specific issues, hospitals will provide clear information on any visiting restrictions
- you may need to have your temperature taken when you go into a healthcare setting.
Each healthcare provider may have further local approaches to keep people safe, so please check on site for these.
We understand this may be frustrating for some people who do not wish to wear a mask or socially distance, but this is for the benefit of everyone; please don’t abuse NHS staff who are here to protect and care for patients and their loved ones.
Paula said: “Please remember that having both doses of the Covid-19 vaccine offers the best protection against the virus; it is, however, still possible to contract Coronavirus, so anything we can do to protect each other and ourselves remains vitally important. We know that having two doses also decreases household transmission by up to half.’’
- Please continue to regularly wash your hands or use hand sanitiser, avoid touching your face if you can and remember not to get too close to people – hands, face, space.
- Continue to regularly self-test; free kits are available from www.nhs.uk.
- Make sure you self-isolate if you show symptoms, test positive or are contacted by Test and Trace. From 16 August, this changes for people who are fully vaccinated – visit Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance and support – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
If anyone hasn’t yet been vaccinated, it is really quick and easy to grab a jab.
- Use the national booking service at Book or manage your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS (www.nhs.uk) or phone 119.
- If you don’t want to book, there are dozens of walk-in centres across Kent and Medway offering vaccinations at a time and place to suit you. Find out more here: Vaccination walk-in clinics :: Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk)