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Precautionary measures in place to protect public and staff

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A number of measures to protect patients, service users and staff have been put in place in health and care settings following confirmation of a small number of unexplained cases of COVID-19.

These cover the use of PPE, social distancing, hospital visiting, GP practices, optical practices, dental practices providing NHS dental services, care homes and other residential facilities.

Changes that will be implemented with immediate effect are:

  • Everyone entering a health or care facility will be required to wear a medical grade face covering which will be provided on entry to the facility, and all visitors are asked to use the hand sanitiser on entry and whenever there is an opportunity to gel hands 
  • Outpatient clinics will continue as planned, however arrangements will be made to implement social distancing within waiting rooms and face coverings should be worn – where social distancing is not possible, patients may be asked to queue outside the outpatient department in order to reduce the number of people in the waiting room   
  • The reopening of Learning Disability Day Services and recommencement of visiting within Learning Disability Community Houses will continue from 3 May as planned, unless the situation deteriorates 
  • The reopening of Older Persons Day Services and recommencement of visiting within Manx Care operated Residential and Dementia Support homes will now take place on the 3 May 

Hospital visiting is suspended from 4pm this afternoon across Noble’s, Ramsey Cottage Hospital and Manannan Court unless permission is given by the nurse or midwife in charge of the ward.

GP Practices, dental practices providing NHS services and opticians' practices will revert to their previous way of working during lockdown periods – including social distancing and the wearing of masks by patients and staff. This may also include patients being asked by their GP, dentist or optician to wait in their car until called for their appointment.

Patients will be offered remote appointments on the phone or by video link where appropriate, with face to face consultations provided where clinically necessary. Patients are advised they will be met at the door if they visit the surgery, for the time being.

Practices are implementing this agreed operational procedure at the request of Manx Care.

Manx Care CEO Teresa Cope said:

‘These are precautionary measures which we hope will be short-term. They are proportionate to the current situation and designed to protect the most vulnerable patients and service users within our care, as well as our staff.

She added:

‘Contact tracing is ongoing to identify the source of transmission of two current cases in the north of the Island, and we will review the situation every 48 hours, and retain or remove these precautions as the situation becomes clearer.