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University Hospitals of Northamptonshire ask public to continue to follow hands, face, space in hospitals

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The University Hospitals of Northamptonshire will be asking local people who visit Kettering and Northampton Hospitals to stick to ‘Hands, Face, Space’ rules in hospital as COVID cases continue to rise.

While some measures are being relaxed in the community from Monday, July 19, NHS England has said that within hospitals, and other healthcare settings, the requirements tor the wearing of masks, maintaining social distance and regular hand washing continue.

In a joint statement Northampton General Hospital’s Director of Nursing and Midwifery Sheran Oke, and Kettering General Hospital’s Director of Nursing and Quality, Leanne Hackshall, said:

“The increase in the number of Covid cases, both across the country, and locally, is having an impact on the Northamptonshire’s hospitals, leading to a concerning growth in Covid-related hospital admissions and also in staff absences due to Covid infections in the community.”

Covid inpatient numbers at the two hospitals have doubled over the last week. On July 7 there were four inpatients at Kettering General Hospital and seven at Northampton with Covid-19. Today (July 16) there were eight at Kettering and 16 at Northampton.

Staff absences at the two hospitals are also rising. There are currently 136 staff from the two hospitals who are absent due to the need to isolate. A number that has almost doubled over the past month.

Sheran said: “The people of Northamptonshire have been fantastic over the last 15 months in sticking to restrictions, particularly on the hospital site, and we want them to continue to support us. They can do this by wearing a mask, maintaining social distance and frequent hand-washing. This will protect us and it will protect our patients.

 “If you or your loved one had a compromised immune system or were recovering after a serious operation, you would want us to do everything we could to keep them safe. Patients with these conditions are being treated in our hospitals every day, so we need to keep rules in place for a bit longer.

 "Masks are one of the best ways to prevent passing on or catching Covid. When someone with Covid breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release millions of invisible particles (droplets and aerosols) containing the virus that cause Covid. These particles can then be breathed in by other people and infect them with the virus. By not wearing a mask you could spread the virus to others without knowing it, especially as some people don’t experience any symptoms with the virus".

Posted on Friday 16th July 2021
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