The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Health Agency Urges Adults to Wear Face Masks When Ill

Health Agency Urges Adults to Wear Face Masks When Ill
03 January 2023

Guidance issued by the UK Health Security Agency states that adults suffering from respiratory illnesses should wear face masks if they have to leave home.

Amidst high levels of flu and COVID-19 and winter pressure on the NHS, adults suffering from coughs and colds should wear face coverings or ideally stay at home, to minimise the spread of illness in and protect wider communities.

Professor Susan Hopkins, Chief Medical Adviser at the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), issued the advice as students return to school after the Christmas break, and many return to workplaces too.

She said: “Adults should also try to stay home when unwell and if you do have to go out, wear a face covering. When unwell don’t visit healthcare settings or visit vulnerable people unless urgent.”

Face coverings can reduce the number of particles containing viruses that are released from the mouth and nose of someone who is infected with a respiratory infection. They can also protect the person wearing the face covering from becoming infected by some viruses.

Professor Hopkins also recommended that those caring for children should help them to learn about regular hand washing, and catching coughs and sneezes in tissues.


Face Masks to Help NHS Winter Pressure


Between 12 December and 18 December 2022,  the overall number of reported COVID-19 confirmed outbreaks increased compared to the previous week, as did COVID-19 hospitalisations and ICU admissions.

In a statement from Matthew Taylor, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation, pressures on NHS staff are described as “unbearable.” He continued: “It seems likely that the next three months will be defined by further critical incidents needing to be declared and the quality of care being compromised.

“Some of our members have said their ward staffing numbers are now below minimum levels as they work hard to set up more escalation spaces to support arrivals from ambulances, that they have had instances where their oxygen cylinders have ran out temporarily, and that some of their patients have waited over two days for a bed.“

"High rates of flu and COVID which have more than doubled, ongoing issues with delayed hospital discharges which is leaving over 12,000 medically fit patients stuck in hospital, and the aftershock of industrial action are compounding the longer-term issues of over 130,000 NHS vacancies, a decade-long lack of investment in capital and an elective backlog which continues to grow past 7 million people.”

Picture: a photograph of a person wearing a face covering, standing outside of a building with a revolving door entrance. Image Credit: Unsplash

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 03 January 2023


Related Articles

First Net-Zero NHS Operation

A surgical team at Solihull Hospital has performed the world’s first documented net-zero operative procedure. The keyhole surgery was to remove a bowel cancer...

 Read Full Article
What Does the PM's COVID-19 Winter Plan Mean for Employers?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently laid out his COVID-19 winter response plan to the public, but how will it impact existing working policies? The winter...

 Read Full Article
PPE May Be Responsible for Dermatitis Increase

More than one in ten workers suffer from occupational dermatitis, potentially exacerbated by PPE being worn for long periods and hand sanitiser use. UK PPE supplier...

 Read Full Article
Face Mask Disposal Still a High Concern

Litter pickers across the UK are reporting a huge increase in the number of dumped contaminated disposable face masks being spotted during their patrols, as the number of...

 Read Full Article
Dalkia UK Wins FM Contract With The Christie NHS Foundation Trust

Dalkia UK has signed a contract to deliver technical facilities management services at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust’s new Patterson Building. In 2017 there...

 Read Full Article
Royal Surrey County Hospital Awarded First NHS Exemplar Status for Portering Services

Royal Surrey County Hospital and its partner Medirest have been awarded the first NHS “Exemplar” status for outstanding portering services, which has only...

 Read Full Article
Improvements to England's Worst Housing Stock Could Save NHS £13bn

Remedial work to England’s poorest quality housing could provide £135.5 billion in societal benefits over the next 30 years. These benefits include...

 Read Full Article
Community Hospital UK’s First to Achieve Carbon Neutrality

Rye, Winchelsea & District Memorial Hospital has become the UK’s first community hospital to achieve carbon neutrality. The NHS hospital is fully...

 Read Full Article
CE and UKCA Mark Transition – Industry Reactions

The government has confirmed the indefinite extension of the use of CE marking for UK businesses, but some are calling for extra clarity.   What is the...

 Read Full Article
Kier Wins Contract to Upgrade Birmingham Hospitals

Kier has been appointed by the University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust for a three-year programme of upgrades across the estate. The University Hospitals Birmingham...

 Read Full Article