Responding to guidance from NHS England clarifying that rules around face coverings and social distancing will still be in place in healthcare settings from 19 July, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, BMA council chair, said:
“While infection rates continue to soar, it is only right that settings that look after people’s health should not themselves risk staff and patients becoming infected and ill. We are pleased that after calls from the BMA alongside other bodies that NHS England has mandated the continued wearing of face coverings and social distancing in hospitals, GP practices and other healthcare settings after 19 July. This will help protect patients – some of whom may have underlying conditions and for whom contracting COVID could be life threatening – as well as staff so that they can continue to care for patients in a safe environment.
“Doctors strongly support the wearing of face coverings in healthcare settings beyond the 19th July, and this week 91% of respondents to a BMA survey indicated that they wanted these measures to continue, with a strong majority also saying they should remain in other indoor public settings such as transport and shops. We are encouraged by this important announcement from NHS England and the Chief Nurse, and hope that this clarification will ensure that the public do the right thing when they go to their GP surgery, clinic or hospital."
Notes to editors
The BMA is a professional association and trade union representing and negotiating on behalf of all doctors in the UK. A leading voice advocating for outstanding health care and a healthy population. An association providing members with excellent individual services and support throughout their lives.