Covid 19 Policy
The purpose of this policy is to outline the requirements for all staff and visitors to LHTC clinics in order for them to be as safe as possible from the risks associated with the outbreak of Covid 10.
LHTC will ensure that staff are aware and understand the importance of pandemic preparedness and will work with staff, clients and suppliers to ensure that a safe and effective service can be maintained.
LHTC understands that they have a responsibility for ensuring that staff follow good infection control and prevention techniques and that they support patients with this too. LHTC will ensure that staff have access to reliable information to reduce anxiety and dispel any myths and inaccurate information that may cause worry or distress to staff, patients or the wider public
LHTC recognises that the WHO has declared COVID-19 can be characterised as a pandemic on 11 March 2020. LHTC therefore has put in place measures to support staff and reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the virus.
Reducing the Risk of Contracting or Spreading the Virus
LHTC will ensure that staff are aware of and follow the WHO and
Public Health England advice to reduce the risk of contracting the virus and the risk of spreading it.
- Following the lockdown and any local restrictions put in place by the Government at any time
- Wash hands regularly and properly for at least 20 seconds (2 verses of Happy Birthday) by using soap and running water
- Using hand sanitiser when it is not possible to wash hands with soap and water. Hand sanitiser must contain 60% alcohol to be effective
- Maintain social distance between themselves and anyone (in line with current government advise). If too close, the person can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the other person coughing has the disease
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth. Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter the body and can make the person sick
- Wearing a face mask when in areas that require them – as outlined in government guidance.
- Practice good respiratory hygiene. This means covering mouth and nose with bent elbow or tissue when they cough or sneeze. Disposing of the used tissue immediately and washing hands, or use hand sanitiser
- If anyone has a fever (37.8 degrees, a new/persistent cough) they must self isolate in line with current government guidance.
Staff should wash their hands:
- Before leaving home
- On arrival at work
- After using the toilet
- After touching pets
- After breaks and sporting activities
- Before food preparation
- After using public transport
- Before eating any food, including snacks
- Before leaving work
- On arrival at home
LHTC will follow confidentiality and GDPR policies and procedures to ensure that the details of staff with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 are kept confidential aside from where this needs to be reported to the NHS Track and Trace scheme.
Employees should also respect each other’s confidentially and take care not to inadvertently share information when using social media.
Cases of Covid 19
If a staff member reports that they have either been in contact with someone who has tested positive or they themselves have tested positive for Covid they will be asked to self isolate in line with current government guidance. They will receive sick pay in line with their contract of employment.
Cleaning the Office and Workplace Where There are Confirmed Cases of COVID-19
LHTC will follow Public Health England guidance on cleaning and ensure that a deep clean of the clinic is carried out. This will include surface cleaning throughout the clinic, particularly attention to door handles, phones, toilets and other areas where that individual could have touched. Any fabric items which cannot be cleaned will be set aside for at least 72 hours.
Operating the clinic during the pandemic
Where possible initial consultations will be carried out online to cut down on face to face contact as far as possible. When a procedure is booked in only one customer will be seen each day.
All visitors to the clinic will be temperature checked and asked to declare that they are not experiencing any of the covid symptoms or been in contact with anyone who has tested positive.
Clear signage in the clinic reminds staff and visitors of the need to be clear about their situation and to wash their hands, keep safe distance.
All staff wear full PPE – hair covering, face masks, visors, gloves, gowns, aprons and scrubs. These are either disposed of after one use or sterilised/ washed appropriately.
Items used for carrying out surgical procedures – swabs, needles etc are disposed of in line with our procedures on infection control and clinical waste.
LHTC has effective procedures in place to allow staff to raise any concerns in relation to equipment, policies and processes for managing COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity. All staff must be aware of the Whistleblowing Policy and Procedure and be able to raise concerns without any fear and receive timely feedback on their concerns
Shielding At Risk Groups
Where possible for non clinic days staff will be able to work from home however it is recognosied that some people are more at risk and may be part of a group that have been identified as needing to shield. Any member of staff who is in an at risk group (or who has a family member they live with at high risk) should discuss this with their line manager to determine the best way to support them during this time.
No member of staff should travel to a country on the Government’s Red or Amber travel lists without the express permission of the clinic Director. All patients will be asked if they have returned from a Red or Amber country within the previous 14 days of attending the clinic.
As the pandemic is evolving this policy will be subject o 6 monthly reviews.