CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION LEAFLET  

                     

 

                     COVID-19 – HCW ADVICE 

 (HCW) – Healthcare Worker, this refers to those who work in a healthcare setting within and outside the NHS who may come into contact with patients, including clinical administration staff, and care home staff. This also includes NHS staff where depletion of workforce as a result of a symptomatic case attending work would pose significant operational issues e.g. laboratory professionals.

It is important that as a HCW you do not attend a healthcare setting if there is a risk you could spread COVID-19. The three main ways through which a HCW are at risk themselves are relevant travel, and healthcare or household exposures. For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.*

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough (this means you've started coughing repeatedly) and/or
  • high temperature (you feel hot to touch on your chest or back)
  • shortness of breath

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.

SELF- ISOLATION:

If you have symptoms of coronavirus infection (COVID-19), however mild, please refer to the most update government guidelines which can be found on the following link:

For citizens and HCWs in the United Kingdom:

 

For citizens and HCWs in Republic of Ireland:

For citizens and HCWs based in the Channel Islands:

HOW TO AVOID CATCHING OR SPREADING GERMS:

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Do not:

  • touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

HOW TO WASH YOUR HANDS

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/

STAFF CARING FOR COVID-19 PATIENTS:

Healthcare workers (HCWs) are vital for the functioning of the health system to ensure that we can treat patients appropriately. In addition, managers have a high level of skill in assessing whether individual staffs are developing symptoms that would require exclusion from work. HCWs themselves are educated about prevention of the nosocomial spread of disease. It is a well-established practice for individuals not to come to work with respiratory tract infections.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-for-healthcare-providers-who-have-diagnosed-a-case-within-their-facility/covid-19-actions-required-when-a-case-was-not-diagnosed-on-admission

HCWs who come into contact with a COVID-19 patient while not wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) can remain at work. They should:

  • not attend work if they develop symptoms while at home (off-duty), and notify their line manager immediately
  • self-isolate and immediately inform their line manager if symptoms develop whilst at work
  • refer to the stay at home guidance

If you do not have any signs of improvement and have not already sought medical advice, you should call NHS 111 (or local/ national NHS helpline) or 999 in an emergency and seek appropriate medical review.

PPE / RPE:

The current recommended PPE that must be worn when caring for COVID-19 patients, including for when aerosol generating procedures (AGP) are being performed, is described in the infection prevention and control guidance. Please refer any queries pertaining to arrangements for suitable RPE and PPE fitting before you arrive at your place of assignment.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file /872745/Infection_prevention_and_control_guidance_for_pandemic_coronavirus.pdf

These are guiding principles and there may need to be an individual risk assessment based on staff circumstances, for example for those who are immunocompromised. HCWs themselves should be re- educated about prevention of the nosocomial spread of disease. It is a well-established practice for individuals not to come to work with respiratory tract infection.

* HCWS who are at greater risk of coronavirus such as those on immunosuppressant medication current guidance from the CDC advises the following.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html

If you are considered at risk, follow these steps to avoid catching or spreading germs:

  • Where reasonably practicable, avoid working in clinical areas where there are known or suspected cases of COVID- 19 outbreaks. Consideration for re-deployment but will have to be negotiated with your employment agency/ current employer
  • Ensure that appropriate Respiratory and Personal Protective Equipment is supplied and fitted before entering any at risk area
  • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, avoid crowds and much as possible and limit close contact.
  • Take everyday precautions to keep space between yourself and others.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately,
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.

Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.