Hands, Face, Space – doctors issue new appeal to follow social distancing guidelines

  • 23 September 2020


Doctors have launched a new appeal to remind people to follow social distancing guidelines when they’re using healthcare services.

Visitors to hospitals, minor injury units, GP practices and all other health settings have been asked to wear face coverings since mid-June, alongside social distancing and handwashing guidance in place throughout the pandemic.

And with a growing number of routine services back in operation, local GPs, hospital doctors and community healthcare teams are backing the ‘Hands Face Space’ campaign to remind people it’s as important as ever to follow the official advice.

Dr Martin Jones, local GP and Medical Director at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, said:

“Everyone has a part to play in preventing the spread of coronavirus and we’re really grateful to everyone who has followed the guidance to keep themselves and other safe.

“But we have to stay vigilant and especially so in healthcare settings where we are treating some of our most vulnerable people.

“Services have comprehensive measures in place to keep patients safe from coronavirus and we’re asking visitors to continue to do their bit, with the three simple steps of ‘Hands Face Space’: wash hands regularly, wear a face covering when visiting a health setting and maintain your distance from those not in your household.

“Following these steps could make a significant difference in reducing the spread of coronavirus and helping protect you, our patients and our staff from the virus.”

Dr Adam Brown, Lead Consultant in Southmead Hospital’s Emergency Department (ED), said:

“With the demand on front line services returning to pre-pandemic levels we cannot return to business as usual in our hospitals. This is why we are asking patients and visitors to help our hard-working staff by following the Hands Face Space guidelines while in our hospitals and to come on their own where possible.

"As our Emergency Department waiting room starts to fill up again but with less seating capacity, patients should also be prepared that they could be asked to give up their seat to someone in greater need and wait in an alternative space to allow social distancing to be safely followed."

All health settings have measures in place to keep people safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus. This includes floor markings, increased spacing in waiting areas and access to alcohol-based hand sanitiser as well as a range of other precautions.

Staff from local community hospitals have also created videos to show what you can expect ahead of a visit to Minor Injury Units in Clevedon and Yate and the South Bristol Urgent Treatment Centre.

Mary Lewis, Director of Nursing at Sirona care & health, said:

“Our minor injury and urgent treatment centres have continued to support people with urgent minor injuries and / or illnesses throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

“The safety of staff and people in our care is extremely important to us. We have stringent measures in place to ensure our urgent care environments are as safe as they can be. The rules for each site differ slightly so it is important for visitors to understand what safety measures have been put in place for each facility.

“Staff from our urgent care facilities were pleased to support the production of the videos and hope visitors will find them useful. We hope these videos help people to prepare for any potential visit.”

For the latest information on local health services, visit bnssgccg.nhs.uk/