National Guidance For Bearded NHS & Key Workers Facing Coronavirus

Male nurses and other staff may be asked to shave off beards and facial hair to ensure protective face masks fit properly, according to new national guidance for NHS organisations in England.

But they have also been warned that a blanket ban could “indirectly discriminate” against some staff and have been advised to consult with local faith groups to work out how best to approach the issue.

“Employers should talk with relevant staff and may want to engage with local faith groups” 

NHS Employers guidance:

Facial hair and the fitting of personal protection equipment (PPE) has become an “emerging issue”, stated the guidance – part of a raft of new advice on staff welfare and workforce issues published by NHS Employers.

“Beards, stubble and facial hair cause a common problem when using PPE face masks, as this can prevent the mask being able to seal to the face and passing the fit test,” said the guidance.

“Employers should talk with relevant staff and may want to engage with local faith groups when agreeing their approach to this issue,” it added.

Some trusts, like University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust, have already started advising staff to consider removing facial hair, as previously reported by Nursing Times.

Common sense applies here…

and so far we’ve not heard of any bearded brother objecting where health is at question.

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