Fully vaccinated frontline staff can work without self-isolation
Following some recent deliberation, the Department of Health and Social Care released confirmation that frontline health and social care staff will be among those who can attend work rather than self-isolate as long as the organisation can demonstrate they have met mitigations in exceptional circumstances under updated guidance, from Monday 19th July. 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 does not include the care of clinically extremely vulnerable service users.
“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.” Health Secretary, Sajid Javid
In order to mitigate the increased risk associated with attending work, the following updates to the guidance must be implemented:
- the staff member should be fully vaccinated, defined as having received both doses of an MHRA-approved vaccination (ensuring 14 days has elapsed since the final dose)
- the staff member should undertake a PCR test and should self-isolate until they receive the result, they should only attend work if this result is negative
- they should take daily lateral flow device (LFD) tests prior to starting work each day, where test results should remain negative and be reported to NHS Test and Trace via the web portal and to their duty manager
- any staff member who has a positive LFD test during this period should not attend work and should arrange a PCR test as soon as possible
- if the staff member develops any COVID symptoms during this period, they should stay at home and immediately arrange a PCR test
- staff working during this 10-day period should comply with all relevant infection control precautions and PPE should be properly worn throughout the day, any breaches should be reported immediately to their line manager
- the staff member should not work with clinically extremely vulnerable patients or residents, as determined by the organisation
- the staff member should ensure they continue to adhere to self-isolation rules outside of work, this guidance only applies to work settings
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