Page last updated: 3 August, 2021, 9:44am
COVID-19 update for staff – 3 August 2021
Guidance for staff told to isolate through the NHS COVID-19 app and NHS Test and Trace
As you’re aware the Trust has reviewed our own guidance for staff who have been asked to self-isolate either through the NHS COVID-19 app or through NHS Test and Trace. In summary this is as follows:
- Advisory notifications (a close proximity or venue alert)
If members of staff receive an advisory notification (a close proximity or venue alert) and wish to come into work, they must still discuss this with their line manager AND also inform the trust’s test and trace team as staff will be expected to take daily lateral flow tests and a PCR test.
The trust’s test and trace team can be contacted at email@example.com. Please email them in the first instance.
- Self-isolation notifications
We can also carry out individual risk assessments for staff working in service critical areas and potentially put in place a safe return to work plan, with agreement of the member of staff.
To review a self-isolation order, staff need to meet the following criteria:
- You must be double-vaccinated (2 doses) against COVID-19
- You must have received a mandatory notification to self-isolate or have self-notified to the trust’s test and trace team as having had a significant contact (not to be confused with the national test and trace team)
- You would like to have your isolation orders withdrawn – if possible – for the purpose of attending work
- You must be asymptomatic and PCR negative
- You will need to do daily Lateral Flow Tests and PCR testing as required
If you meet this criteria please follow the guidance below:
Step 1 – Speak to your line manager in the first instance, who will check you meet the criteria.
Step 2 – The line manager will then email the trust’s test and trace team to assess whether it is appropriate for the self-isolation order to be reviewed.
Step 3 – The trust’s test and trace team will contact the Director of Infection Prevention Control – or a deputy in their absence – to carry out an individual risk assessment.
Please note: Individual risk assessments will be carried out Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm – it is not a 24-hour service. Urgent escalation out-of-hours should be through the senior manager on-call.
It is important that all staff who have the NHS COVID-19 app pause contract tracing on their app whilst at work.
Letter from Executive Chief Nurse and Deputy Medical Director
Please find attached a letter to all staff from the Executive Chief Nurse and Deputy Medical Director which thanks you for your continued hard work and commitment through these challenging times.
Communicating during a pandemic – survey
A key feature of COVID-19 has been the nature of communications and how we communicate with staff, patients and the public. We are currently reviewing all of our communication channels across the Trust and would really like to hear your views on what works well and – more importantly – where we can make improvements.
Our online survey covers all aspects of communication – from keeping staff informed during this pandemic to use of the intranet and social media – so it has a few more questions than usual but your feedback will help us to develop a wider communications and engagement strategy for Newcastle Hospitals. You can complete the survey here: https://bit.ly/3rE7URW
The closing date is 31 August and we’ll share our results with you. Thank you.
Lateral Flow Tests
NHS England are now supplying Lateral Flow Tests for all NHS staff. While we currently still have some supply in stock, from next week you will be able to order the testing kits directly from www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests and the turnaround is quick.
You will be asked to create a personal account in which you can log your results of the lateral flow test (using the number of the test found on the individual white slide).
However it really important that staff continue to register their results through the InHealthcare app (using the lot number on the individual packaging of each self-test). All results are still available for staff to view. Further information about home testing is available on our coronavirus website under the staff testing – home testing page.
Please continue to follow this checklist to ensure we keep our patients – and each other – safe:
- PPE – All staff must at all times follow the Trust guidance on PPE for all patient pathways. Our current COVID risk is amber which means staff who are within two metres of a patient must wear eye protection (visor or goggles) along with the other appropriate PPE required.
- COVID-19 Assessment inpatients – All patients admitted to the Trust must have a COVID-19 assessment completed in eRecord. When a patient is admitted to your ward ensure that an assessment has been completed. Do not assume that the admitting department has completed this assessment.
- Outpatients/ Community patients – All patients must be assessed. For community there is a SystmOne assessment. For areas that do not use either eRecord or SystmOne a local assessment must be completed and held in the patient record.
- Patient PCR Screening – All patients must be screened on admission day 3, day 5 and weekly. There are prompts on your white board for all screening requirements and full details are on the PPE and patient management page of the coronavirus intranet site.
- Hands, face and space – We must all continue to keep each other safe, socially distance and wear surgical masks inside of work and face coverings outside of work.
- Car sharing – If you need to car share, ensure everyone wears a surgical mask and have the windows partially opened to improve ventilation.
- Fit Testing – All staff who work clinically in areas where aerosol generating procedures are undertaken must be fit tested to a FFP3 mask. Every directorate has a fit tester.
- Asymptomatic lateral flow testing – Please continue to do the lateral flow testing (nasal swabs) twice a week at home. These self-testing kits should only be used if you are asymptomatic (not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19). Further information is available on the self-testing page of the coronavirus intranet site.
- Face-to-face training / meetings – We have stood down all face-to-face training with immediate effect reverting to virtual training until further notice. Remote meetings remain the preferred way to meet and face-to-face meetings should be held by exception only.
Thank you for your continued support.
Executive Control Group