A RETIRED nurse who was accompanying her elderly mother-in-law to a hospital appointment has complained about being asked to leave because she refused to wear a mask.

The woman was taking her 85-year-old relative to Basingstoke hospital’s pre assessment department on May 16 when she was challenged about not wearing a mask inside.

Read more: Warning that cuts to homeless funding in Basingstoke will lead to more people on the streets 

She told a nurse who asked her to put a mask on that she preferred not to because “they cause my glasses to steam up and I might cause an accident hazard”.

However, the woman said the nurse told her that her reason for being exempt was “not good enough”.

The woman was asked if she would instead wear a face shield, but she declined.

She said: “I said that if they told me to go, I would leave but this could affect the exchange of useful information with my mother-in-law.

“I also informed them that at a preceding appointment in the day treatment unit several people were not masked and a doctor was wearing their mask below their nose from where it occasionally slipped below the mouth.”

The woman eventually left the hospital but has described its face mask policy as “inconsistent and nonsensical”.

The woman’s comments have been included in hospital meeting papers for Hampshire Hospital’s NHS Foundation Trust’s (HHFT) board of directors meeting in June, after she left a review of Basingstoke hospital, giving it three out of five stars.

As previously reported, HHFT made a U-turn on its mask wearing policy this week, announcing that patients, staff, and visitors are now required to wear a mask inside its hospitals.

Read more: Hospital trust makes U-turn over face mask rules 

This was after it announced the previous week that face covering rules would be dropped.

Dr Lara Alloway, chief medical officer at HHFT, said the trust had taken the “hard decision to require that surgical masks be worn by all persons – staff, visitors, and patients – on our sites”.

She said the decision was made “due to a significant increase in the number of Covid-19 positive patients in our hospitals, very high rates in the community and increasing levels of staff sickness”.

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