Information alert

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

I have symptoms of Covid-19 – what should I do?

If you experience:

•    A high temperature
•    A new, continuous cough
•    A loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

Please follow the below guidance:

1.    You will need to self-isolate immediately in line with the latest government guidance (10 days). 
2.    You should arrange to have a test as soon as possible. You should book this through the Trust testing team.
3.    Notify your line manager that you are symptomatic and are self-isolating.

If you test positive:

4.    You should notify your line manager as soon as possible after testing positive. If you are a bank staff member, you should notify the Admin Bank, who will act as your line manager. 
5.    Your line manager should then notify Occupational Health, the Trust’s Track and Trace Team and the Covid-19 Incident Management Team. 
6.    If you test positive out of hours (after 5pm on weekdays and weekends), notify the Covid-19 Incident Management Team rather than your line manager. 
7.    You can return to work after completing 10 days of self-isolation if you have had no fever for 48 hours and are otherwise well. Please see the return to work process for further guidance.

If you are well enough and able to work from home during your isolation period, you can discuss and agree this with your manager.

You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation but if your symptoms worsen during home isolation, use the NHS 111 online service for advice. 

If I have symptoms of Covid-19. Should I get tested through my local testing centre or through the Trust’s testing team?    

You should book a test as soon as possible through the Trust testing team. 

If this is very inconvenient for you, you can book a test through a testing centre local to you.   

What will happen during and after my test with the Trust testing team?    You will be asked to attend our drive-thru testing facility at the Anita Samuels Centre in Huyton, if you are able to do so. If you feel you are unable to get to the testing facility, you can discuss your options with the testing team when arranging your appointment. 

You will be given a phone number to call when you arrive at the Anita Samuels Centre and a member of the testing team wearing full PPE will come out to carry out your test, which will involve taking a nasal and throat swab through your open window. You will not need to get out of your car.

Results for tests accessed through our Trust testing team should be available within 72 hours. While you are waiting for your test result, you should stay at home and should not leave the house.

I line manage a member of staff who is self-isolating due to testing positive for Covid-19. Who do I need to inform?    

If you manage a member of staff who has tested positive for Covid-19, you should notify Occupational Health, the Track and Trace Team and the Covid-19 Incident Management Team.

You will need to provide a telephone number for the positive member of staff to the Track and Trace team, as they will then get in contact with them to conduct contact tracing. 

You must also report the positive member of staff as ‘Confirmed COVID-19’ on the webform every day until the staff member recovers and returns to work. 

You must update the Covid-19 Incident Management Team of any significant changes in the positive staff’s condition. This includes significant deterioration of physical health, admission into hospital and sick notes. 

Your staff member must have completed 10 days self-isolation and have had no fever for 48 hours before returning to work. Please see the return to work process for further guidance around this process.


I have tested positive for Covid-19 – how long do I need to self-isolate for and when can I return to work?  

 You will need to self-isolate immediately in line with the latest government guidance. You should stay at home and not leave the house during this period.

If you were symptomatic at the time of swab you will need to isolate for 10 days from the onset of your symptoms.

If you were asymptomatic at the time of swab (routine swabbing) you will need to isolate for 10 days from the date of your swab.

If your symptoms do not subside you should self-isolate until you have had no fever for 48 hours.

If your clinical condition has improved and you have had no fever for 48 hours you can return to work after your 10 day isolation period. 

Please see return to work process for further guidance around this process.

This process only applies to PCR Positive results, please see the Asymptomatic staff testing area on the StaffZone for more information on Lateral Testing. 

Can I book a Covid-19 test for my family / people I live with through the Trust’s testing team?    

Yes, if they have symptoms of Covid-19.

You can book a test for anyone in your household with symptoms over the age of one through our Trust testing team – they do not need to attend a local testing centre.

Email the Trust testing team to arrange a test for yourself or a family member.

If you don’t have symptoms, you don’t need a test yourself, you will just need to self-isolate in line with guidance for household symptoms (10 days). Do not book a test for anyone in your household without symptoms.

A member of my household is self-isolating due to contact with a positive case – do I need to self-isolate too, and if so, how long for?  

 No, if you haven’t been in contact with the positive case yourself, you only need to self-isolate if the member of your household who is self-isolating develops symptoms during their 10-day isolation period.

If they develop symptoms, they should get a test as soon as possible by emailing our Trust testing team at Trust testing team and you will need to self-isolate in line with government guidance (10 days).

A member of my household is self-isolating due to Covid-19 symptoms and is awaiting their test result. Do I need to self-isolate too and if so, how long for? When can I return to work?  

 Yes, you will need to self-isolate immediately in line with the latest government guidance for household members of people with symptoms (10 days). You should stay at home and not leave the house during this period. 

If their test result comes back negative you can end your isolation period and return to work.

If their result comes back positive, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of their symptoms.
You can return to work on day 11 if you don’t develop any symptoms during this period.

Upon return to work the manager and employee should complete a return to work discussion and document the return following self-isolation.

A member of my household has tested positive for Covid-19 and is self-isolating. Do I need to self-isolate too and if so, how long for? When can I return to work?    

Yes, you will need to self-isolate immediately in line with the latest government guidance. You should stay at home and not leave the house during this period.

You will need to self-isolate for 10 days from the onset of their symptoms. You can return to work on day 11 if you don’t develop any symptoms during this isolation period.

Upon return to work the manager and employee should complete a return to work discussion and document the return following self-isolation.

I have been in close contact with a friend or family member (who I don’t live with) who has tested positive for Covid-19 but I haven’t been contacted by Test and Trace. Do I still need to self-isolate and if so, how long for? When can I return to work?

Yes, if you were in close contact with the person who has tested positive during the 48 hours before their symptoms started, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days from your last contact with them.

Close contact includes:

•    Having face-to-face contact (at around 1 metre or less)
•    Spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone
•    Travelling with someone in a car

If you don’t develop symptoms during your 10-day isolation period, you can return to work on day 11.

If you do develop symptoms, you will need to arrange a test through the Trust testing team. 

If this comes back negative, you can return to work on day 11.

If it comes back positive, you will need to self-isolate for 10 days from onset of your symptoms and follow the Trust return to work process.

The NHS website also has some helpful guidance  around what to do if you have been contacted by Test and Trace.

What should I do if I test positive through Lateral Flow testing?  

1)    It is a legal requirement that you immediately report your result on the online form. You should also inform your line manager or deputy and input the result (do not contact our Incident Management Team or Track and Trace team at this stage)
2)    Arrange a confirmatory PCR test (this is the standard test carried out at a testing centre) or through our internal testing team: covid.testing@nwbh.nhs.uk
3)    Your line manger must also report you as ‘LFT Positive awaiting PCR Result’ on the webform every day until you receive your PCR result. 
4)    You and your household should self-isolate in line with government guidance until the result is known.
5)    You will need to report the result of your follow-up PCR test using the online system (you must report your result even if it is negative). You will need to know the date you took your lateral flow home test when you received a positive result. 
6)    If your PCR test is positive you should follow the usual return to work flowchart.

If you have tested positive through PCR testing, have isolated for 10 days and are currently asymptomatic, you are exempt from further regular asymptomatic testing for 90 days from the date of the original positive PCR test. 

As a manager, how do I record Covid-19-related absence on ESR?  

The Electronic Staff Record (ESR) has been adapted to enable recording of Covid-19 related absence. The accurate recording on ESR of Covid-19 related absence is vital to ensure that the ongoing additional impact on local health systems is tracked throughout the pandemic.

Guides have been developed to support managers to accurately record absence related to the Covid-19 on ESR:
•    ESR – Coronavirus sickness
•    ESR – Carers leave
•    ESR – Self-Isolation

It is possible that staff may require more than one period of self-isolation. Self-isolation will not be discouraged, and these arrangements will apply to each period of self-isolation. 

Where staff are able to work from home (ie they are self-isolating but still working) there is no requirement to record anything on ESR, as the member of staff is still working, albeit from a different location.

Will I still get paid if I am self-isolating and am unable to work from home?    

In most cases, yes. If you are unable to work from home during self-isolation normal pay will be received. 
  
However, if you are required to self-isolate as a result of failing to follow our Covid-19 workplace guidance, the Trust reserve the right to ask you to take paid or unpaid leave for the duration of your self-isolation. 

I am in a high risk category, should I still be shielding? When should I return to work?    If you are in a vulnerable category, it is recommended that you continue to shield and work from home where possible. 

However, due to falling infection rates and the Covid-19 vaccination roll-out, the government advice as of 1 April 2021 states that you may return to work if a comprehensive individual workplace risk assessment is undertaken and reflects that it is safe to do so.

This risk assessment should evaluate your own personal health risks as well as the risks within your workplace and the current context. For example, there may now be more frequent testing, and you should have now had your vaccination. These factors will lower risk of transmission. 

You can seek further advice from Occupational Health as well as your GP if you wish to return to work and have any concerns.