News

07.09.20

Government deal for clear face masks to help people with hearing loss

Around 250,000 clear face masks are set to be delivered to frontline NHS and social care workers to allow for better care to be provided to those who use lip-reading and facial expressions to communicate, whilst still ensuring staff and patients remain safe during coronavirus.

The clear face masks will allow for improved communication with people with certain conditions like hearing loss, autism and dementia.

Designed with an anti-fogging barrier to ensure the face and mouth are always visible, the see-through masks will help doctors, nurses and carers get important messages across to all patients clearly.

An estimated 12 million people in the UK are thought to have hearing loss, while those who rely on facial expressions to support communication – such as people with learning disabilities, autism or dementia, or foreign language speakers and their interpreters – will also see benefit from the government deal.

Minister for Care Helen Whately said: “Everyone using our remarkable health and care system deserves the best care possible and communication is a vital part of that.

“This pandemic has posed numerous challenges to the sector, so we are always on the hunt for simple solutions to support those giving and receiving care.”

Struck by the Department of Health and Social Care, the deal will see the 250,000-mask order – being supplied by a US-based company – begin to be delivered to NHS trusts and social care providers across the UK in the next few weeks. A first delivery has already been distributed to NHS trusts.

The deal to introduce clear masks has been introduced to apply to the whole of the UK, with the government currently working with the devolved administrations on allocations of the masks beyond England.

Social care providers will also have access to the masks through a new pilot system with Local Resilience Forums.

Professor Andrew Goddard, Royal College of Physicians (RCP) President, added: “The necessary use of face masks to protect staff and patients has made communication difficult. It’s particularly true for clinicians and patients who are deaf or have a hearing loss and rely on being able to read lips.

“Clear communication is always important, but particularly in healthcare. So, we’re pleased these masks are going to be available very soon.

“Of course, lip-reading doesn’t work for everyone, nor is it everyone’s first choice. It’s important that all NHS employers and services find out what someone’s communication needs are and meet them, in line with the Accessible Information Standard.”

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

national health executive tv

more videos >

latest news

View all News

comment

NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

23/09/2019NHS England dementia director prescribes rugby for mental health and dementia patients

Reason to celebrate as NHS says watching rugby can be good for your mental ... more >
Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >

editor's comment

26/06/2020Adapting and Innovating

Matt Roberts, National Health Executive Editorial Lead. NHE May/June 2020 Edition We’ve been through so much as a health sector and a society in recent months with coronavirus and nothing can take away from the loss and difficulties that we’ve faced but it vital we also don’t disregard the amazing efforts we’ve witnessed. Staff have gone above and beyond, whole hospitals and trusts have flexed virtually at will to meet demand and pressures and we’ve... read more >

last word

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad: ‘We all have a role to play in getting innovations quicker’

Haseeb Ahmad, president of the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), sits down with National Health Executive as part of our Last Word Q&A series. Would you talk us throu more > more last word articles >

interviews

Organ Donation Week: Having the conversation

11/09/2020Organ Donation Week: Having the conversation

As part of Organ Donation Week, NHE’s Matt Roberts spoke with our Man... more >

the scalpel's daily blog

NICE’s support for rebuilding capacity in non-Covid health services

18/09/2020NICE’s support for rebuilding capacity in non-Covid health services

Paul Chrisp, Director of the Centre for Guidelines, NICE When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK’s shores earlier this year, the NHS responded quickly, diverting and ... more >
read more blog posts from 'the scalpel' >

healthcare events

events calendar

back

September 2020

forward
mon tue wed thu fri sat sun
31 1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11

featured articles

View all News