Coronavirus/COVID-19 - please read this latest guidance - updated on 2 March
Please read this latest guidance for DCHS staff in managing any potential risks from COVID-19 (also known as a coronavirus):
For reception and all patient-facing staff: what to tell "worried well" patients who are thinking of cancelling appointments with us over fear of coronavirus/COVID-19
The NHS in Derbyshire and Public Health England (PHE) are extremely well prepared for outbreaks of new infectious diseases. The NHS has put in place measures to ensure the safety of all patients and NHS staff while also ensuring services are available to the public as normal. That includes services at our sites and in the community. You can read more about how to protect yourselves and minimise the spread of infection here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public
IPC triage line for guidance
For general help and guidance about keeping yourselves and your workplace safe as part of sensible precautions against coronavirus, our Infection Prevention and Control Team is contactable via the triage line T: 01246 515870 or E: DCHST.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Specific guidance for healthcare workers
It is important that healthcare workers should not attend a healthcare setting if there is a risk they could spread COVID-19. The three main ways through which healthcare workers are at risk themselves are: relevant travel, healthcare or household exposures. The latest guidance from Gov.UK is here.
What to do if you or one of your team is returning from abroad
Please refer to the latest Gov.UK guidance for travellers returning from abroad to determine if you need to take any precautionary action before returning to work.
What to do if you or one of your team needs to self-isolate
Staff who suspect they may have come into contact with someone with coronavirus should contact their line manager immediately via telephone, or the on-call manager out-of-hours via 01332 623700 (asking for the DCHS on-call manager).
Staff who are required to self-isolate and cannot come into work should work from home wherever possible. We will do anything we can to make this possible, providing laptops etc, if appropriate. People can use this time to carry out essential learning, remote case management, preparation for appraisals etc. If managers have not got work staff can do at home, they should contact their deputy director who may be able to provide some work.
Guidance for team leaders
This Gov.UK guidance gives general advice to team leaders about managing workplaces, including precautions which are sensible in minimising any risks from coronavirus. It includes guidance for particular circumstances, including if staff are returning from annual leave in areas of the world which have confirmed cases.
Reporting/recording precautionary self-isolation or sickness absence of staff due to COVID-19
All instances of DCHS staff self-isolating as a precaution against coronavirus must be reported via DATIX. The DATIX category for reporting these absences is “unwell” and the subcategory is “ILHLTH” (ill health). Please state “coronavirus self-isolation” in the description section.
Staff absences for staff who need to self-isolate should be recorded in ESR as:
Special Increasing Balance
If staff are off due to COVID-19 this should be recorded in ESR as:
Level 1 – Cough, cold, flu
Level 2 – Not specified
And also tick the box for notifiable disease
Protecting DCHS workplaces
All DCHS premises should be displaying this poster at their front doors advising visitors not to enter if they suspect they may have been exposed to the virus. The advice is to go home and dial NHS 111.
Hand washing and preventative measures
Hand hygiene is vitally important and the usual measures against spreading colds and flu apply:
- 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 straight away
- wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. See hand washing guidance
- clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean.
We continue to receive regular updates from Gov.UK and will keep you informed of any changes in the guidance affecting us.