South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is setting up mask and information stations at its main hospital entrances to provide support to patients and visitors.
In line with national guidance to prevent the spread of coronavirus, face coverings must be worn by all patients and visitors entering hospitals or health services from Monday 15 June.
The trust, which runs The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton and a range of community services, is encouraging patients to bring their own face coverings when attending appointments.
If patients don’t have their own face covering, masks will be provided from mask and information stations at main hospital entrances. Children under 11 do not need to wear a mask.
The mask and information stations will be manned by therapeutic care volunteers from 8am to 7pm, seven days a week unless otherwise stated, and will be located at:
- South Entrance (7.30am to 7pm)
- Bridge Entrance
- Women and Children’s Entrance
- Sliding doors near lifts to wards 1 to 12
- Main reception
Beth Swanson, assistant director of nursing – quality and patient safety said: “We are encouraging patients and visitors to bring their own face covering with them such as a mask or scarf and to put this on prior to entering our hospital sites.
“If anyone arrives for an appointment without a face covering our volunteers will be on hand to provide a mask as well as helping people find their way around the hospital site.
“On leaving hospital masks should be removed and disposed of in the bins provided.”
Debi McKeown, lead nurse for therapeutic care, added: “As always our amazing volunteers have stepped up to support us with this. We are incredibly lucky to have so much generosity of time from them.”
To protect patients and staff, patient visiting remains suspended on all trust hospital sites with only a few exceptions.