14 July 2021
Find out what the RCSLT has been doing to ensure speech and language therapists (SLTs) have a supply of clinically safe transparent masks as soon as possible.
Speech and language therapy leaders, members and many organisations representing people living with a range of communication difficulties have all identified provision of transparent masks as an urgent priority.
The RCSLT has been working with key procurement and infection control colleagues at Scotland and UK levels to secure a supply to speech and language therapists and other as soon as possible.
What has the RCSLT been doing?
At a UK level, we have:
- Produced a series of statements on transparent masks – see our latest policy statement from April 2021 (PDF)
- Worked with Department of Health and NHS England colleagues to speed up national procurement and supply by:
- Creating a way for members in England to report masks that have passed UK safety standards via their local procurement teams (please note, this process will work differently in Scotland).
- Setting up a user testing survey for members to feedback on usability of approved transparent masks. We’ll be feeding that information to UK and Scotland procurement colleagues to inform national procurement.
- Advising UK level colleagues on who would benefit from transparent masks and providing key points to inform national guidance.
We will list transparent masks that have passed safety standards and been approved by NHS England and Department of Health on a dedicated page as soon as we are made aware of them.
What about SLTs in independent practice?
The list of approved masks will enable SLTs in independent practice to identify suppliers of transparent masks which have been approved as safe for clinical practice.
The RCSLT has asked NHS England and Scotland colleagues about supply to SLTs working outside the NHS. No answer is available at time of writing, but we will update our members when we have more information.