We are regularly reviewing guidance to ensure we minimise the risk of Covid-19 for our staff, patients and visitors. Given the increasing infection rate of Covid-19, and in line with other Shelford Group hospitals, we have agreed that clinical areas cannot be assessed as ‘Covid secure’, even if all practical measures have been taken to control potential spread of infection.

Covid-19 secure environment – local H&S risk assessments

All areas must complete a Local Covid-19 Secure Environment – Health and Safety Risk assessment to comply with health and safety legal requirements and government Covid-19 secure guidelines and ensure that the risks from Covid-19 are reduced to as low as reasonably practicable. The risk assessment will help you identify the actions that need to be taken.

The risk assessment has been updated and all areas must complete the new risk assessment. You should continue to regularly review your risk assessment and ensure you are maintaining the control measures you have put in place.

It contains further actions that are required and has been written as a series of questions in order to assist with the identification and implementation of control measures to manage the risks associated with Covid-19 in workplaces. It also will help to determine whether workplaces are Covid-19 secure.

Clinical areas can be classed as ‘covid managed’, which means that all possible measures have been introduced, but due to clinical activity being undertaken it cannot be classed as ‘covid secure’. Non-clinical areas that meet the criteria can be assessed as ‘covid secure’. ‘Covid managed’ and ‘covid secure’ areas are both considered ‘green areas’.

Instructions on how to complete the local risk assessment are provided on the document itself.

Please read the accompanying guidance document before completing the risk assessment.

Once completed, the risk assessment must be sent to Covid.secureenvironment@addenbrookes.nhs.uk. Should any items need to be purchased to meet the requirements these can be sourced as per below:

Item Who to contact
Wipes Order via procurement
Hand sanitiser Please call 348121, Medirest help desk
Floor tape Place call on 216696, facilities help desk
Signage Place call on 216696, facilities help desk
Posters Please e-mail covid.secureenvironment@addenbrookes.nhs.uk
Plastic screens for desks Please see the Desk screen order process with details on how to order desk screens from our supplier, Northgate

If on completing the local risk assessment it confirms that your area is Covid-19 secure you will be able to display a poster so that others entering the area are aware. Please e-mail covid.secureenvironment@addenbrookes.nhs.uk for more details about this.

A Trust wide Covid-19 Secure Environment – Health and Safety Risk Assessment on how the Trust is managing the risks associated with Covid-19 has also been developed, and is available here.

Guidance on the wearing of facemasks is available on the PPE and infection control pages of the portal.

What is considered a clinical area?
A clinical area is any space where clinical interaction with patients takes place, including any support accommodation associated with it (such as offices, staff rooms, stores).

What does this mean for staff in high risk groups?
Staff who have either been shielding or are identified as being in the ‘red’ risk category in the individual staff risk assessment forms can return to work in green areas with appropriate risk assessments in place, with the support of Occupational Health.
Please email covid.secureenvironment@addenbrookes.nhs.uk if you have any questions.

What is a Covid-19 secure workplace?
Only non-clinical workplaces can declare themselves as Covid-19 secure.

A non-clinical workplace can be declared as Covid-19 secure where it has met all of the following conditions:

  • a local covid-19 secure risk assessment has been carried out and the results shared with staff
  • there are cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in place in line with guidance
  • all reasonable steps have been taken to help staff work safely from a Covid-19 secure workplace or work from home
  • all reasonable steps have been taken to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace
  • where 2m is not viable, at least a 1m distance is in place and all possible mitigation actions have been taken to manage transmission risk

Non-clinical workplaces that are unable to meet these five main conditions cannot declare themselves as Covid-19 secure.

What steps do we need to take to maintain social distancing (2m or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable) in the workplace?
Wherever possible, you should try and enable 2m social distancing in the workplace. Where 2m is not viable, then you should try and enable 1m social distancing and take all the mitigating actions possible to manage the transmission risk. If 1m with further mitigation is also not possible, then the workplace cannot be considered Covid-19 secure.

Steps that usually will be needed include:

  • reviewing layouts and processes/reconfiguring seating and desks to allow staff to work further apart from each other
  • managing occupancy levels to enable social distancing
  • creating additional space by using other parts of the workplace or building that have been freed up by remote working
  • using floor tape or visual markers to make areas to help staff comply with social distancing
  • avoiding the use of hot desks/spaces and where not possible, cleaning and sanitising workstation between different occupants including shared equipment
  • use of one-way systems where possible

What further mitigating actions are needed for 1m social distancing in the workplace?
Where 2m is not viable, then you can implement 1m social distancing but you must also take all the mitigating actions possible to manage transmission risk.

Mitigating actions include:

  • further increasing the frequency of hand washing and surface cleaning
  • keeping the activity time involved as short as possible
  • using screens or barriers to separate people from each other
  • using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face-to-face) whenever possible
  • reducing the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (so each person works with only a few others)

What if it is not possible to comply with social distancing guidance (2m or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable)?
If it is not possible for your workplace to comply with social distancing guidelines (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable) then you will need to consider whether that activity needs to continue for the Trust to operate, and if so take all mitigating actions possible to reduce the risk of transmission.


Clinical School
Risk assessments have been undertaken in the Clinical School in line with University of Cambridge requirements (as the owner of the building).

There are a number of safety measures in place including the availability of hand sanitiser, enhanced cleaning, installation of screens and one way systems. The building is also working at a reduced occupancy of 30%.

Face masks must be worn in the Clinical School where 2-metre social distancing cannot be maintained.