Frontline health and care staff advised that they can work rather than self-isolate
Staff can attend work rather than self-isolate with testing mitigations in exceptional circumstances under updated guidance provided by the UK Government.
From today, double vaccinated frontline NHS and social care staff in England who have been told to self-isolate will be permitted to attend work in exceptional circumstances and replaced by testing mitigations.
This will include staff who have been contacted as a close contact of a case of COVID-19 by NHS Test and Trace, or advised to self-isolate by the NHS Covid-19 app.
This measure is being introduced to alleviate pressure on NHS and social care services and will be contingent on staff members only working after having a negative PCR test and also taking daily negative lateral flow tests for a minimum of seven days, and up to 10 days or completion of the identified self-isolation period.
The government is clear the change applies only to frontline NHS and social care staff where their absence may lead to a significant risk of harm.
The decision to allow NHS and social care staff to attend work after being told to self-isolate should be made on a case-by-case basis, and only after a risk assessment by the organisation’s management.
This must be authorised by the organisation’s local Director of Infection Prevention and Control, the lead professional for health protection, or the Director of Public Health relevant to the organisation.
Health Secretary Sajid Javid commented: “As we learn to live with this virus, it’s important that we ensure frontline staff can keep providing the best possible care and support to people up and down the country.
“The government has backed healthcare services at every turn through this global pandemic and these new rules will fortify our collective defences against this awful virus, by allowing fully vaccinated frontline NHS and social care staff to continue to work when needed.
“Careful consideration should be given by local NHS and social care organisations to the risk of onward transmission compared to the risk to delivery of critical services.
“Staff who are permitted to attend work will remain under a legal duty to self-isolate as a close contact when not at work, but will be considered to have a ‘reasonable excuse’ under the Self-Isolation regulations to leave self-isolation to attend work where their absence could result in harm. They will continue to receive self-isolation reminders.”
Dubbed by national press as a “pingdemic”, the announcement comes as many businesses and organisations, including those in the health and social care sector, continue to face staff shortages as a result of the pandemic. These have grown in recent weeks due to a record number of people being told to self-isolate by Test and Trace.
Integrated community equipment service provider Millbrook Healthcare, which specialises in the provision of community equipment, wheelchair, assistive technology and home improvement agency services to the NHS and local authorities has continued to work throughout the pandemic, but admits it has been impacted.
Annette Cairns, Clinical and Quality Director at Millbrook Healthcare commented, said: “The pandemic has put our organisation, like many others, under immense pressure and we’ve been impacted by the government’s rules on COVID self-isolation, which have been put in place to reduce the spread of the infection.
“To ensure that we can continue to provide our much-needed services, on behalf of the NHS and social care, we’ve put strict COVID-19 measures in place, as well as processes such as redeployment of colleagues and remote working for business continuity.
“Our colleagues will remain vigilant, use appropriate PPE, make informed decisions using risk assessments and act carefully and proportionately to continue to manage the risks to themselves and to others, because the safety and wellbeing of our colleagues and our service users is our priority.”https://thiis.co.uk/frontline-health-and-care-staff-advised-that-they-can-work-rather-than-self-isolate/https://thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Millbrook-Assessment-Wheelchair-Services-e1626685015490.jpghttps://thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Millbrook-Assessment-Wheelchair-Services-150x150.jpgGovernment & Local AuthoritiesNewsroomSector Newscare,COVID-19,frontline,health,staff Staff can attend work rather than self-isolate with testing mitigations in exceptional circumstances under updated guidance provided by the UK Government. From today, double vaccinated frontline NHS and social care staff in England who have been told to self-isolate will be permitted to attend work in exceptional circumstances and replaced...Liane McIvorLiane McIvorliane@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine