Around 12 million people in the UK thought to have hearing loss.
NHS and care workers will be given clear face masks to help them communicate with people with certain conditions like hearing loss, autism, and dementia, the government has announced.
The masks are see-through and have an anti-fogging barrier to ensure the face and mouth are always visible but are not designed to filter particles.
With around 12 million people in the UK thought to have hearing loss, the masks will be invaluable for people who need to lip-read to communicate during the ongoing response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and beyond.
Developed by US-based company ClearMask, the government says the masks meet the UK’s strict safety standards.
Around 250,000 masks will be delivered to NHS trusts and social care providers across the UK over the next few weeks.
Minister for Care Helen Whately MP said; “Everyone using our remarkable health and care system deserves the best care possible and communication is a vital part of that.
“This pandemic has posed numerous challenges to the sector, so 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 to make sure whenever a clear mask is needed, there is one available.