Face masks will remain when going to doctor, say health bosses

Medical practices across the Black Country and Staffordshire will continue to ask patients to wear face masks after July 19.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the legal requirement for face coverings would be scrapped and said it would “depend on the circumstances” whether or not he would continue to wear one.

Now health bosses across the region have said patients attending GP practices will be asked to socially distance and wear face coverings where possible.

Lynn Millar, director of primary care for the Staffordshire NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups, said: “The Covid pandemic is still with us and there continues to be transmission in the community.

"It is therefore vital that we continue to protect each other. GP practices, like other healthcare settings, will continue to make infection control measures a priority.

"This will include asking people to social distance and to wear face coverings where possible.

“We would ask patients to understand that this is for their benefit.”

Sally Roberts, Chief Nursing Officer for Black Country and West Birmingham Clinical Commissioning Group, said people will be encouraged to wear face coverings in GP practices.

She said: "Patient safety is our first priority, and it's important to remember that even though restrictions are lifting on 19 July, Covid-19 hasn't gone away and is still a danger to vulnerable and unvaccinated people in our community.

"Throughout the pandemic our GPs have succeeded in keeping staff and patients safe from Covid-19, and after 19 July we will continue to ask that when visiting your GP surgery you wear a face covering, as well as following any other safety measures on the premises. This is not just to protect you, but also other patients, our staff and services who may be more vulnerable.

"It is also vital to get both doses of your Covid-19 vaccination as soon as possible, as this is the best way to give yourself and your loved ones the maximum protection against the virus."

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