MASK-WEARING has been re-introduced at the NHS trust which runs Tunbridge Wells Hospital at Pembury.
Maidstone & Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust (MTW) has said the move was due to ‘the recent increase in COVID infection rates in the community’.
MTW had dropped the requirement for patients or visitors to wear face-coverings at the end of June, though certain clinical areas, such as the respiratory ward, still required masking.
From today (Wednesday, October 12), all visitors and patients are required to wear a facemask in all areas of the hospital, unless exempt or there is a clinical reason not to wear one.
Face masks will be made available at main entrances.
The requirement for routine lateral flow testing was stopped on April 1, 2022, but MTW now asks all visitors to take a lateral flow test within 24 hours of going to one of the trust’s sites.
Patients coming into hospital will be told if they are required to take a lateral flow device test.
Visits are limited to two visitors per patient at any time, but more than two people can visit during visiting hours – 12pm-7pm. Visitors under 16 are not permitted, and MTW reissued guidance to using FaceTime and patient iPads.
There are more restrictive visiting requirements for certain parts of the hospital.
Over the last seven days (October 12) the borough of Tunbridge Wells recorded a rate of 83.2 cases per 100,000 population, compared to 99.6 in Tonbridge & Malling, 113.7 in Sevenoaks and 103.9 in Wealden District.
The rate for Kent was 101.6 cases per 100,000 population.