Information alert

The guidance on this page relates to Mid-Mersey division staff who transferred from North West Boroughs Healthcare on 1 June 2021.

What should I do if a new patient is admitted to the ward?  

Swab the patient and isolate them immediately (day 1). The patient should then be swabbed on day 3. 

Patients are able to come out of isolation following the two negative swabs (day 1 and day 3). They must continue to follow social distancing and full IPC guidance. 
The patient should then be swabbed again between days 5-7. 

Following a negative result the patient should then join the ward’s 7-day rolling programme. Please refer to the inpatient swabbing flowchart, action card and standard operating procedure for further guidance.

How long should newly admitted patients remain in isolation for? 

Newly admitted patients should remain in isolation until they receive the two negative swab results from their day 1 and day 3 swabs. 

When they come out of isolation they must continue to follow social distancing and full IPC guidance. 

What should I do if an existing patient becomes symptomatic?  

Swab the patient and isolate them immediately. 

If the patient refuses swabbing and isolation please get in touch with the infection control team who will advise you on how to mitigate the risk of further transmission. 
After this, refer to the inpatient swabbing flowchart and action card for further guidance and next steps.

How do I record a patient’s Covid-19 swab on Rio? Do I need to record anything if a patient refuses the swab? 

All planned swabs should be logged on Rio using the Inpatient Screening and Testing Form, even if a patient refuses the swab.

Please refer to the Covid-19 Inpatient Screening and Testing Form User Guide for further guidance on how to access and navigate the form. 

What is the 7-day rolling programme and how does it work?    

Patients on our inpatient wards are required to be swabbed for Covid-19 every seven days. 

Each ward has been assigned a day to routinely swab inpatients in this rolling programme. Please see page 5 of the standard operating procedure to see which day has been assigned to your ward. 

One of the inpatients on my ward is due to be a discharged to a care home setting do they need to be swabbed?     

Yes, patients being discharged to a care/residential home setting should be swabbed within 48 hours of discharge date.

The only exception to this would be patients who have previously tested as PCR positive, have isolated for 10 days and are currently asymptomatic. These patients are exempt from swabbing for 90 days from the date of their original positive PCR test. 

Should I swab patients who have already tested positive and completed their 10-day isolation period?   

All inpatients who have previously tested as PCR positive and who have isolated for 10 days and are currently asymptomatic should be exempt from the 7 day rolling programme for 90 days from the date of their original positive PCR test.

Full guidelines can be found in the standard operating procedure (SOP) Covid-19 testing for inpatient wards.

What counts as an Aerosol Generating Procedure and what PPE should I wear?    

You can find a full list of all APGs on the Government website.

It should be noted that, Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) ventilation, non-invasive ventilation (NIV) and bi-level positive airway pressure ventilation (BiPAP) are all categorised as AGPs.

For any aerosol generating procedures (AGPs), full level 3 PPE must be worn including:
•    FFP3 mask
•    Gown
•    Visor
•    Gloves

All staff that were fit tested for FFP3 masks prior to November 2020 must be re-fitted due to a change in supply. Dates for fit tests are available here.

What are the current restrictions around patient visiting on our inpatient wards?  

 A blanket ban on visiting is not recommended. The Trust recommendation is to: 

•    Facilitate virtual visiting first. 
•    Cap visiting to one visit per patient per week. 
•    Any additional visits have to be by exception only as part of an MDT care plan.
•    Visitors should be in the patients support bubble.

I am a staff member on an inpatient ward and have completed a PCR swab due to an outbreak or an asymptomatic testing regime, how should I label my sample?     

It is vitally important that you label your specimen bottle and complete and print out a microbiology lab form. You will then place the form into the outer bag of your Covid 19 sample before returning. You can print as many of these forms as you like but if any of your details change you will have to complete the form again.

The form can be accessed here:

Step-by-step instructions can be found here.

If you require any further information, please contact:
If the bottle is not labelled or form not completed, your results may not receive your results in a timely manner.

If you haven’t had a result after 24hrs, then please contact to request the ICE system is checked.

What is the guidance on Section 17 leave for our inpatients?   

Our Trust holds a three tier framework for section 17 leave. Patients can take leave for the following reasons:

•    Medical leave.
•    Visiting home as part of a clear discharge plan.   
•    Leave in the local area for short periods of time, in line with lockdown regulations.

The Covid-19 leave risk assessment must be carried out before and after any Section 17 leave. The completed Covid-19 assessment must be uploaded to Rio.