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Practice Policy on Face Coverings June 2021

Dr McEvinney & Partners

Practice policy on patients wearing face coverings

Updated 07th June 2021

We are still asking you not to come into the surgery unless there is a good reason for you to do so.  If we can deal with the issue over the phone or by email, that is what we should do.  This is to help us all to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in line with the national guidance on social distancing. However, some patients will need to come into the surgery for immediate care or Chronic Disease Management and we are now working hard to restart more routine services in a safe way.

Face coverings are an important part of stopping the spread of coronavirus. They provide vital protection for patients, Staff and Visitors to limit the spread of Coronavirus

This guidance provides information to our patients about the use of face coverings:

Scottish Government have made face coverings mandatory in most indoor public places, indoor communal spaces including retail, restaurants, cafes, bars and public houses, and in workplaces and on public transport. This is because transmission is most likely to occur when people are close to each other, in crowded and poorly ventilated places.  You must by law wear a face covering in all Health and Social Care setting including staff, patients and visitors. This applies to both our practice sites at Croftfoot and new Gorbals Health and Care Centre.

We understand that some people will find wearing a face covering difficult and some exceptions have been outlined below

People must wear a face covering unless they are exempt from doing so because of specific circumstances.

People who are exempt from wearing a face covering should not be denied access to the practice however our clinical staff may ask some questions to ensure our patient has a hidden disability.

The vast majority of people can wear a face covering, including most people with a lung condition such as asthma, and everyone who can wear a face covering in the mandated spaces is legally required to do so.

However, we recognise that there are situations where a person is unable to, or it would be inappropriate, for them to wear a face covering.

These exemptions include:

  • When a person has a physical or mental illness or impairment or disability (within the meaning of section 6 of the Equality Act 2010) (which might include hidden disabilities, for example, autism, dementia or a learning disability) which prevents them wearing a face covering. This may include children with breathing difficulties and disabled children who would struggle to wear a face covering.
  • When a person is unable to wear a face covering without suffering severe distress as a result.
  • when taking medication which requires removing a face covering
  • when a worker or volunteer is in an indoor part of their workplace and they are separated from others, either by a partition or maintaining a distance of at least 2 metres
  • when seated in a hospitality setting
  • to eat or drink
  • When communicating with someone who relies on lip reading and facial expressions to communicate. Such people should ensure 2 metres distance is maintained and remove the face covering only temporarily whilst communicating and replace it immediately afterwards
  • babies, toddlers and all other children under 5
  • undertaking tasks in the course of their employment, where the wearing of a face covering would cause a material risk of harmWhere an exemption applies, an individual should not be made to wear a face covering or denied access to places where face coverings are required. However, there may be other occasions when they can wear a face covering, so they should consider whether they are able to wear a face covering on each given day, and in the particular circumstances. Alternatively, they may be able to wear a face shield, rather than not wearing any covering at all.Other important measures
  • Please note that there are other more important safety measures than face coverings – these are:
  • keeping 2 metre distance between people while they are in the practice or health centre
  • regular and frequent hand hygiene – washing with soap and water and/or use of our hand sanitiser gel which are available at all entrances and exits at both our sites at Croftfoot and Gorbals.
  • We are doing everything we can to implement these measures and to keep both you and our staff as safe as possible including:
  • Helping patients by telephone or video whenever possible and only bringing you into the surgery when it is really needed to make sure you are getting the right medical or nursing care.
  • Introducing one way systems in the practice whenever possible.
  • You may be asked to wait in your car until the nurse or doctor is ready to see you.
  • Staggering appointment times to make sure we don’t have a lot of people arriving together.
  • Hand Alcohol gels available at the entrance of our Croftfoot and Gorbals practice sites.
  • Regular cleaning of the environment.
  • Separating any patient who might have symptoms of COVID well away from all other patients.   You will need to bring your own face covering however you will be offered a face covering if you do not have one. 
  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19
  • If we think you might have COVID-19, and we have decided that we need to see you in person we will need you to wear a surgical face mask.  We can also provide this for you.
  • More on face coverings
  • As we restart more routine services it is possible this might mean more people in the waiting room. Although we are being very careful indeed about this, it might make the balance of risk feel different.
  • At the moment, these measures have been successful in keeping the number of people in the waiting room at any one time very low.  So far, it has been possible for patients to stay at least 2 metres apart.
  • you should absolutely not be coming to any of our practices at Croftfoot or Gorbals
  • If we have asked you to come to the surgery, ring the surgery to tell us you have arrived, and which car you are in.  Stay in your car and we will meet you at the car park at the rear of the Croftfoot Practice or in the Health Centre Car Park
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