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‘Common sense’ used over veils in East Lancashire hospitals
12:28pm Monday 30th September 2013 in East Lancashire
THE Royal Blackburn and Burnley General hospitals have not banned Muslim nurses from wearing a face veils, but managers would be expected to apply ‘common-sense’ if an issue ever arose.
The government is conducting a review into health service guidelines on full-face veils to ensure that patients always have ‘appropriate face-to-face contact’.
A ban on niqabs, or full face veils, has already been implemented at 17 NHS hospitals, according to national media reports.
It is not thought East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has any nurses who would be affected by a ban, but chief executive Mark Brearley said: “The trust uniform policy states that for infection control and hygiene reasons that if a scarf is worn, it must be tucked into the collar and only modest religious or cultural headwear can be worn.
“However, in a caring environment where effective communication is paramount, it is expected of all trust managers to apply common-sense in applying the guidelines within the dress code policy, dependent on the specific situation and circumstance.”
Health minister Dan Poulter has claimed that face coverings can be a barrier to communication between health care professionals and patients.
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