THERE has been a rise in people not observing guidance around PPE when visiting hospital, said NHS Forth Valley as staff issued a plea last week.

Staff are appealing to visitors to comply with guidance and advice when visiting loved ones across hospitals, including Forth Valley Royal at Larbert.

According to the health board, the number of people not observing guidance around PPE is increasing with many removing or lowering masks and face coverings when speaking to friends and relatives.

NHS Forth Valley said this can compromise patient safety.

There have also been reports of people bringing takeaway coffees up to ward areas, such as four-bedded bays, then taking off their masks or face coverings to drink them.

Social distancing of two metres is not always being adhered to either.

Professor Angela Wallace, nurse director at NHS Forth Valley, said: “The staff have been fantastic and are happy to speak to visitors about the guidance, but on occasions it has been very difficult as some have been more or less told to ‘get lost’ when challenged about ignoring advice.

“I would urge the public to please treat staff with kindness and respect; they are doing their very best to keep our hospitals safe.

“I would also like to remind people attending hospitals or using our services to continue to follow Covid-19 guidelines.”

Those attending hospitals or healthcare centres must wear a face mask or covering at all times, unless they are exempt.

People who are exempt are asked to make this clear to staff.

Visitors must also avoid congregating and respect physical distancing rules at all times.

People are also asked to use hand sanitising stations when entering and leaving sites.

Anyone who is unwell or has been identified as a close contact of a confirmed Covid-19 case or those who have been advised to self-isolate should not visit or attend hospitals or healthcare facilities.

People must also stay away if they are returning from a country which requires quarantine.