Following guidance issued today (September 7) by the Scottish Government, mask wearing is no long compulsory in care homes for staff and visitors.
This decision has been taken because of lower transmission rates and the fact that COVID-19 is now milder than at the earlier stages of the pandemic, says the Government. In addition, “the impact masks and face coverings can have on health and mental wellbeing, along with communication barrier, continues to be weighted against the… risk of harm from COVID-19,” states the guidance.
The change in guidance means:
- Visitors to adult care homes do not need to wear a face covering, including in communal areas.
- Staff providing direct care do not need to routinely wear a face mask at all times during their shift.
- Staff in non-direct care roles (eg. catering, domestic, office staff) do not need to routinely wear a face covering in communal areas.
Please note that:
- Visitors and staff may choose to wear a mask, and this should be supported.
- While receiving care and support, individuals (or their representatives where relevant) may wish a member of staff to wear a mask. If so, this should be supported by staff and be recorded in care or support plans.
- The fundamental principles of infection prevention and control continue to be essential in care homes, and therefore there will continue to be situations, such as some outbreak situations, where the Health Protection Team or IPC Team may advise on reintroducing face mask wearing.
I know you will support our colleagues and visitors with this important change within our care homes.
The full guidance can be found online at the following address and on the Balhousie Care Group website, under Resources. https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-use-of-face-coverings-in-social-care-settings-including-adult-care-homes/pages/what-has-changed/
As always, if you have any further questions please consult your individual Home Manager.
Karen Johnson, Quality Director