We do not want any staff member working in CUH to take unnecessary risks with their health. An individual staff risk assessment should be completed by anyone who believes themselves to be in a risk group so that an appropriate work placement can be organised.
You should have a conversation with your line manager about your particular health circumstances and your role. You should ensure that you both understand the risk to your health and how any risk can be mitigated. It may be appropriate for you to agree to continue your current role in full, to reduce some types of activity, to work from home or for you to be re-deployed to a different role – which may include clinical and / or non-clinical duties in your own area or in another department.
In the event that none of these options are practical or reasonable in your particular circumstances you should go home on the grounds of medical exclusion.
We have updated the individual staff risk assessment which includes advice for staff including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME), pregnant and other at-risk staff groups. The updates include:
- Trust response to latest clinical evidence and recommendations including for heightened risk factors including age, gender, and ethnicity
- Reminder of guidance on social distancing as an important control measure
- Latest definition on the high risk and higher risk health conditions
- Change to stratifications for staff in the orange risk group
- Introduction of an informed and structured local risk assessment
- Clarity for managers to help action the necessary control measures
In the first instance we ask staff and their line manager to familiarise themselves with this tool. Once the assessment tool is completed, we ask that the employees HealthRoster record is updated to reflect this task has been completed by adding the date that the assessment took place and inputting the individual’s risk category only where ‘green’ is not the risk category. Instructions for how to do this is included as an appendix in the risk assessment tool. Do not input the risk category if it is green.
If your risk group colour change at any point, please arrange to speak to your Line Manager to discuss this further and agree which adjustments should be made to your working practices. This should occur without delay if you are in any group other than ‘green’.
The risk assessment provides detail and outcome on the risk of occupational exposure to coronavirus for staff. It is designed as guidance to help with joint decision making on reducing risk of exposure to coronavirus to as low as is reasonably practicable. Depending on your medical history and associated risk factors, you will be categorised into one of four groups: green, yellow, orange or red. The red group has the highest risk from exposure.
You do not need to complete version 6 if you have previously completed version 5. Version 6 is intended for new starters and those whose health or other risk factors have changed. We will continue to update the risk assessment as national guidance is updated.
New and Expectant Mothers Risk Assessment
Guidance for national restrictions 05 November until 02 Dec 2020 – change for ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ staff
The Government has issued guidance for people including our members of staff in the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable or CEV’ health risk group.
Government advice for the period between 05 November and 02 December 2020 includes:
“There is a further group of people who are defined, also on medical grounds, as clinically extremely vulnerable to coronavirus – that is, people with specific serious health conditions. Over this period, we are advising the CEV to work from home. If you cannot work from home, you are advised not to go to work”
This has been supplemented with further advice today from Dr Jenny Harries, Deputy Chief Medical Officer for England;
“With the prevalence of the virus continuing to increase across England and in places across the world, it’s right that we adjust our advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable accordingly so they can feel as safe as possible over the coming few weeks.
Our guidance for this group of individuals has always been advisory, but I would strongly urge all those who are clinically extremely vulnerable to take these extra precautions to keep themselves as safe as possible”.
For this purpose we consider clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) to be equivalent to the CUH ‘Red’ risk group.
In view of this national guidance, we advise staff in the ‘Red’ risk group to only work from home for the period 05/11/20 – 02/12/20. As a Trust we support our staff in following this guidance. However, we are aware that there will be some people in this group who would prefer to remain working on site and feel comfortable to do so.
As long as the risk is not extremely high (as determined by risk assessment), it is the individual member of staff’s request only and risk is reduced to as low as reasonably practicable, this may be appropriate. Each case must be considered individually.
If staff in the CEV or red risk group wish to continue to attend the workplace it is essential that a further assessment of the risks takes place, acknowledging the updated government advice in the context of increasing Covid-19 infection rates. Subsequent discussion between staff member and line manager should take place agreeing what measures can be taken, to minimise risk and that both are comfortable with the decision. One such risk reduction must be that red risk group staff who wish to remain only work in ‘green areas’ also known as Covid-Secure and Covid-Managed areas.
The following form: Risk Assessment Questionnaire – New National Restrictions from 05 November 2020 – Red risk group (including those previously shielding) should be completed in discussion between staff member requesting to remain in the workplace and their line manager, detailing risks, mitigation and agreed control measures to be implemented.
If when completing the form you require additional input from occupational health this can be requested via the referral form found in the appendices of version 6 of the individual staff health risk assessment.
Whilst waiting for required support from occupational health, the staff member should be home based.
The situation will continue to be monitored carefully and should any further changes be required or additional guidance issued, we will share this with you. Please continue to follow all Trust communications.
Please note that the request to remain in the workplace must be made by the employee and no pressure from managers or anyone else should be applied. This is in line with our Trust values and keeping staff safe and well. Advice and support at this difficult time remains available to both individual members of staff and line managers from the divisional heads of workforce and medical staffing.