Covid measures to remain in place at South Tyneside and Sunderland hospitals - with refusers warned their appointments could be cancelled

Health chiefs say covid measures will remain in place at South Tyneside and Sunderland hospitals ‘for the forseeable future’ to protect patients and staff – with a warning those refusing could see their appointments cancelled.

Monday, 24th January 2022, 3:40 pm

The South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust said it is keeping all of its current infection, prevention and control measures as community Covid-19 infections remain high, with the North East seeing some of the highest rates in the country.

The Trust is asking the public to support their hospital and community services in South Tyneside and Sunderland by continuing to wear a facemask, washing hands and keeping a social distance in all trust buildings.

Everyone entering hospital buildings will be asked to wear a mask at all times to protect staff and patients.

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Patients are being urged to accept the measures.

Dr Shaz Wahid, medical director at the Trust, said, asked people not to take offense or be abusive to staff if they are challenged during their visit.

He said refusal to follow the Trust’s infection, prevention and control deadlines may mean a patient’s appointment will be cancelled and they may be asked to leave.

Visiting restrictions will also remain in place to manage the number of people coming into hospital buildings in light of the recent spike in community infections due to the Omicron variant.

He said these ‘important safety measures’ have been in place throughout the pandemic to minimise the spread of Covid-19 and protect vulnerable patients who are at much higher risk of serious illness.

Medical director Dr Shaz Wahid

Dr Wahid said: “Our teams have worked tirelessly throughout the pandemic to minimise the spread of Covid-19 and it’s really important that we keep up these strict measures to protect our patients, staff and services.

"We will be asking everyone to comply with these rules and ask that you are understanding and kind to our staff if they speak to you about this.

“We continually review the measures we have in place, but we know that our infection, prevention and control measures work. It’s vital that we continue to protect our patients, staff and services by doing things safely and not becoming complacent. Covid-19 is still with us and we know the Omicron variant is much more easily spread.”

He added: “Keeping our current measures in place gives us the best chance of continuing to safely treat these infections without impacting the huge efforts our teams have made to restore much of our non-urgent activity, such as planned operations, tests and scans.

Sunderland Royal Hospital, Chester Road

“With COVID-19 infections still on the rise in our local communities, we are urging the public to continue supporting us by wearing a mask, washing your hands and social distancing in all of our hospital and community buildings. I would also urge everyone eligible to have the COVID-19 vaccine to take up the offer as this is still our very best defence against serious illness."

Details on the safety measures in place can be found on the Trust website – www.stsft.nhs.uk

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South Tyneside District Hospital

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