Jump to content

National Deaf Children’s Society urges NHS trusts to use clear face masks

The National Deaf Children’s Society has written to every NHS trust in England urging them to start using transparent face masks because standard ones create a “serious communication barrier” for deaf patients.

The letters, co-signed by the British Academy of Audiology, said deaf patients could “miss vital information about their health” as opaque masks make lip reading impossible and facial expressions difficult to read.

It is likely that face masks will remain widespread in the NHS, as new guidance issued at the start of June states they will still be required in a number of settings, including cancer wards and critical care units, and staff may wear them in other areas depending on personal preference and local risk assessments.

Susan Daniels, the chief executive of the National Deaf Children’s Society, said: “Transparent face masks are fully approved and they could transform the healthcare experience for deaf people. However they communicate, almost all deaf people rely on lip reading and facial expressions. Opaque face masks make these techniques much more difficult and this could seriously affect communication at a time when they might need it the most.”

Three types of transparent masks, designed not to fog up, are now approved for use as PPE in healthcare settings, and although they are not currently available on the NHS supply chain, they can be bought direct from suppliers. The government previously delivered 250,000 clear masks to frontline NHS and social care workers in September 2020.

Read full story

Source: The Guardian, 15 June 2022


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...