COVID-19 Updates from the Lead Employer
Guidance regarding COVID-19 is changing regularly and, here at Lead Employer, we continue to update our communications to ensure that we are reflecting current government guidelines. Here you will find our latest FAQs for both colleagues-in-training and Host Organisations, details on completing risk assessments, and how to report an absence.
For additional advice, you can also find useful information through the Public Health England Guidance or through the Government Guidance
Withdrawal of Terms and Conditions section of the COVID-19 workforce guidance
As you may be aware, it was announced last week that following consultation with national stakeholders including NHS England and Improvement (NHSEI), NHS Employers, trade union, and employer colleagues, the government has decided to withdraw the staff terms and conditions section of the COVID-19 workforce guidance. This decision follows the government’s publication of its plans for living with COVID-19, which saw the withdrawal of all restrictions and will facilitate the overdue move back to normal contractual arrangements.
The guidance will be withdrawn on 7 July 2022 with an implementation timetable through to September and our priority is to ensure that any staff member who is currently unwell with Covid-19 is fully supported. We are awaiting guidance from NHS Staff Council that supports employing organisations in both the management of the transition of staff back to their normal contractual sick pay arrangements, as well as new COVID-19 cases. Following receipt of this, we will issue further communications and contact any colleague affected separately to arrange to meet to discuss any changes and support that can be offered. We will also be updating our dedicated Covid website pages as appropriate.
If you are yet to receive both doses of the COVID vaccination and would like to do so, you can book a vaccination appointment to attend a vaccination site of your choice via the National Booking System, which you can access via the NHS website here. Having the vaccine remains the best way to protect staff, patients and each other from the COVID-19 virus and the Trust continues to encourage all staff who are not yet vaccinated to do so as soon as possible.
We understand that there may be some colleagues who are hesitant to take up the offer of the vaccination and a range of support is available to you through your Host Organisation and through StHK Lead Employer that could help you make your decision.
Please check out the most up-to-date COVID FAQs below for further information and support:
Take a look at our Lead Employer Medical Director – Professor Andrew Rowland, who talks about the part immunisations play in helping us to get out of the pandemic:
- COVID Risk Assessments
Please find below a risk assessment which should be carried out by hosts in conjunction with colleagues-in-training.
To access the risk assessment, please click here.
Tips for E-Form Risk Assessment Completion
Please refer to our full Risk Assessment Guidance before completing the assessment.
Ensure you are connecting via an N3 connection e.g. you are using an NHS enabled laptop or PC.
- The Host Name should be the name of the person who is undertaking your risk assessment.
- The host email should be the email address of the person undertaking your risk assessment.
- Please retain the acknowledgement email you will receive once you have submitted your part of the form, this contains your user name and password which will enable you to access the form at any point following completion.
Risk Assessment Guidance for Pregnant Colleagues and those with underlying conditions
Further guidance for pregnant colleagues-in-training following the completion of a COVID-19 Risk Assessment can be accessed here
- Support during COVID
We understand that it is vital for our colleagues to feel that they have access to the latest support regarding health and wellbeing during these uncertain times. Please see below a list of links you may find of use:
- Guidance and support regarding the Coronavirus including information on boosters and recent government guidance can be sought through the GOV.UK website.
- Breastfeeding, fertility and pregnancy – You can access the RCM and RCOG Guidance on COVID-19 in Pregnancy via PDF here.
- Ethnic minority communities – You can find the COVID-19 vaccination toolkit for Black African and Black African Caribbean communities through this link.
- British Islamic Medical Association Vaccine FAQs.
- Vaccination Vlogs from Frontline NHS Staff in Community Languages.
- Helping you manage your own health and wellbeing whilst looking after others NHS Our People.
- For access to the Employee Assistance Programme EAP – Insight Wellbeing at work, 24hr confidential helpline 0300 131 2067 or log into the Employee portal at Insight EAP.
- Confidential Staff support line can be found at 0800 069 6222 or Text FRONTLINE to 85258 or at Support Lines and Bereavement at work help line 0300 303 4434.
We would also like to share some useful websites that are continuing to provide up to date guidance and advice on coping with stress during this time:
- Hub of Hope – National database of Mental Health support – find help in your area
- World Health Organisation
We’ve also provided useful tips for managing everyday life, self-isolating and managing work demands during the COVID-19 outbreak through this guide.
- Reporting COVID absences on ESR
Reporting absence due to self-isolation or COVID-19
Colleagues should report their absence to their Host Organisation as they would do normally via local absence reporting procedures. Host Organisations must then record this period of self-isolation or COVID related sickness absence on ESR – this will ensure that the Lead Employer are aware of any such absences and appropriate support can be offered as required.
Please take a look at the following document for details on recording absences via ESR.
Please note that we are on hand to support you and answer any questions you may have. Please contact us on LE.COVIDVACCINATION@sthk.nhs.uk