Page last updated: 22 December, 2020, 2:06pm
Coronavirus (COVID-19) update – Tuesday 22 December 2020
Asymptomatic COVID staff testing
After the announcement by the Prime Minister on Saturday (19 December), we understand that many people’s plans to see family this Christmas may have changed.
If you have booked a swab, but can no longer attend or do not want your appointment, please cancel this appointment with our Appointment Booking Centre on by calling: 0191 282 4444
Staff will be working in the COVID-testing pod during usual hours in the run up to Christmas, with a reduced service on Christmas Day.
COVID-19 travel guidance
Following identification of a new COVID-19 variant, international travel may be increasingly restricted because of UK regulations.
Staff who are stuck abroad due to a travel ban quarantine and unable to return to work, are asked to contact their manager to explore their individual circumstances. Where staff are in quarantine, they should be treated as self-isolating and recorded and paid accordingly.
Where a manager is satisfied that staff are stuck abroad due to COVID-19 and there is no reasonable prospect of them being able to return to work, absence should be recorded as ‘Paid Special Leave’.
We are continuing to monitor the situation and for the latest advice on repatriation and all aspects of travel visit the Government’s website at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus
Electronic Recording of COVID-19 Infection Risk Assessments
you’re aware E-Record documentation has been developed to support the process
of patient risk assessment relating to Covid-19 and is now live in the system
Completion of the infection risk assessment forms helps to ensure that the correct shielding and/or isolation requirements are in place whenever patients access our services. For most planned outpatient appointments and all elective patient encounters, the Covid-19 infection risk assessment should be completed before patients physically present themselves, as well as at time of arrival.
For all non-elective attendees, the Covid-19 infection risk assessment should be completed at time of arrival. An updated instruction guide is available on the PPE and patient management page of the coronavirus intranet site.
For those departments that do not use eRecord, alternative Covid-19 infection risk assessment mechanisms must be put in place.
Self-testing at home
We have joined NHS England’s self-testing scheme for healthcare staff to help us better understand how and when symptoms of COVID-19 occur. All staff are now invited to take part – although participation is completely voluntary – and if you would like to get involved please speak with your line manager. Further information is on our self-testing page on the coronavirus intranet site.
Please note: The self-testing kits are for staff who are asymptomatic (not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19). If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 you should book a test through our pod.
Visiting over Christmas
We are still welcoming visitors over Christmas, please refer to the current visitors guidance here.
It is important when thinking about visiting, that we take some time to think about how we can support carers and other family members. Carers have an important role they play in providing care and helping staff to provide the best care for patients.
The short animated video below has been developed in partnership with carers and shows issues that are important to them and how we can help: https://vimeo.com/173240914
Thank you for your ongoing support
Executive Control Group