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"Covid: people not using masks in A&E"

About: Ninewells Hospital / Accident & Emergency

(as a service user),

I recently attended Ninewells A&E and there were people (patients) not wearing masks or not wearing them properly (pulling down below their mouths for the whole time they were in waiting area) and then acting in a way that felt I and other people in the waiting room could be put at risk of covid (coughing/speaking/talking/laughing really loudly/moving around the area so at risk of spreading covid even if they were asymptomatic). 

I didn't feel confident enough to ask these people to keep their masks on as I was with my child and did not want to antagonise them as they were quite loud but there didn't seem to be anything in place from  the NHS point of view to check whether people were sticking to covid guidance when attending A&E at Ninewells.

It made me and my child really anxious to be in this situation - we were there there for a non-covid reason (stressful enough) and followed guidance but potentially put at risk by other people in the waiting area not following covid guidance (even more stressful).
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Response from Mary Cumming, Senior Nurse for Emergency Medicine, Accident and Emergency, NHS Tayside 7 months ago
Mary Cumming
Senior Nurse for Emergency Medicine, Accident and Emergency,
NHS Tayside
Submitted on 28/04/2021 at 09:48
Published on Care Opinion at 10:36

Thank you for taking the time to share your comments with us. I am sorry that your experience in the ED waiting area left you feeling anxious. We try to ensure that the public are wearing their masks correctly and I have placed posters in the waiting area as a reminder. There will be times when patients are not wearing masks due to health reasons. Please be assured that if you speak with a member of staff either Nursing or reception, we will do our best to reassure you and if possible, we would ask you if you would feel more comfortable waiting in your car and a member of staff will call you when you are ready to be seen.

Mary Cumming

Senior Nurse

Emergency Medicine

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