NHS and care workers to get 250,000 clear masks to help people with hearing loss and dementia

Kit Heren
·2-min read
Getty Images
Getty Images

Frontline NHS and social care workers will be sent 250,000 clear plastic masks to help them communicate with people with conditions such as hearing loss and dementia.

The transparent masks have an anti-fogging barrier, meaning patients with hearing problems should be able to lip read, the Department of Health and Social Care said.

Nine charities said in May that using transparent face masks could prevent “months of misery” for deaf people, calling for clear face coverings to be commissioned.

People with learning disabilities, dementia and autism could also benefit from the clear masks, with many people in these groups reliant on facial expressions to communicate.

The Government said the masks will be delivered to NHS trusts and social care providers in the next few weeks, with deliveries already on the way.

All four countries in the UK will receive an allocation of the masks and deliveries have already begun.

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.

“The introduction of clear face masks will help overcome some of the difficulties carers wearing [personal protective equipment] are facing communicating with people who rely on lip reading.

“If this proves a success I look forward to increasing the supply to make sure whenever a clear mask is needed, there is one available.”

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