To protect patients, staff and the public the North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) is following the guidance published by Public Health England. The guidance has been written by the National Ambulance Service Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Group, in consultation with NHS England, NHS Improvement, Public Health England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the National Ambulance Resilience Unit. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-ambulance-trusts
A key part of this guidance is a change to who can accompany a patient in the ambulance to hospital.
From now on family members cannot travel within the patient compartment with a possible or confirmed case, unless the patient is a child or vulnerable person who requires conveyance, in this case it is acceptable for a parent or guardian to accompany the child or vulnerable person. For your safety it will be necessary for you to wear a face covering or mask unless you have legitimate reason not to. This includes (but in not limited to):
- young children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommended face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons)
- not being able to put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability
- if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause you severe distress
- if you are travelling with or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
- in order to take medication
- if a police officer or other official requests you remove your face covering
Please note if you have an age, health or disability reason for not wearing a face covering you will not routinely asked to give any written evidence of this. For your safety and that of the patient and NHS staff, family members and relatives of these patients are asked to remain at home and not attend the hospital. NWAS will ensure you know to where your family member is being conveyed and you are requested to please phone that hospital later for an update before visiting.