NHS receives 250,000 clear face masks to support people with hearing loss

A quarter of a million clear face masks will be delivered to NHS workers to help those suffering with hearing lossA quarter of a million clear face masks will be delivered to NHS workers to help those suffering with hearing loss. 

The government announced 250,000 clear face masks have been set aside to help clinicians communicate with patients. Particularly those with conditions such as hearing loss, dementia and autism.

With around 12 million people in the UK struggle with hearing loss, the see-through masks have an anti-fogging barrier to make sure the mouth stays visible.

Future orders?

The government is working with the devolved administrations regarding the allocation of the masks. So far, the first delivery has been distributed to NHS trusts. But further deliveries are scheduled over the next couple of weeks.

Social care providers will also have access to the masks through a new pilot system.

The Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England and Improvement states it is working closely with suppliers on future orders based on demand.

Communication is vital

‘Everyone using our remarkable health and care system deserves the best care possible. Communication is a vital part of that,’ said Minister for Care, Helen Whately.

‘This pandemic has posed numerous challenges to the sector. 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 PPE are facing communicating with people who rely on lip-reading.

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

Author’s analysis

Should see-through face masks be made available to NHS dental practices?

With communication at the heart of dentistry, it’s undeniable that clear face masks would massively benefit practices.

According to statistics, almost half of UK adults have a fear of the dentist – with 12% suffering from extreme anxiety. And this was before the pandemic.

Practices may have been able to resume face-to-face care since 8th June. But one of the key challenges faced by teams is reassuring the public that dental environments are safe.

Of course, clear face masks would work wonders when it comes to not just patient communication, but that between team members too.

With no sign of PPE requirements loosening, let’s hope dental practices are high up on the list for any future allocations.

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