Isolation guidance for fully vaccinated staff

12 January 2022

Isolation guidance for fully vaccinated staff

The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) and UK Government have made changes to the guidance for households with confirmed (PCR) coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.

Staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 may now be able to end their self-isolation period after seven days (previously the requirement has been 10 days), following two negative lateral flow device (LFD) tests taken 24 hours apart, on days 6 and 7. The first LFD test should not be taken before the sixth day.

Click on the link for our Standard Operating Procedure for: Guidance and risk assessment for allowing essential front line staff to return to work following a negative PCR if they have been asked to isolate due to potential contact with COVID-19  

Click on the link for our Standard Operating Procedure: Guidance and risk assessment for allowing essential front line staff to return to work following a positive PCR or lateral flow test result

To avoid being notified (pinged) while you are in work, please make sure that the app is turned off as you will be protected by your personal protective equipment (PPE). If you’re concerned about this, please read the NHS guidance.

If you are 'pinged' as a result of a contact outside of work, please inform your line manager and follow the guidance above.

Facecovering in healthcare settings

Find your nearest test centre

Bare below the elbow

All staff in clinical areas must be bare below the elbows to ensure that hands can be washed effectively for 20 seconds. This is more important than ever to try to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It means that you must not wear: stone rings, watches, fit bits, bracelets, nail varnish or false nails whilst in a clinical area. Further detail is available in section 8.2 in the Trust Infection Prevention and Control Policy.

Car sharing

COVID Car Sharing SOP – This SOP has been updated to include students who will need to car share whilst on placement with teams across the Trust.

COVID Triage SOP – This SOP has been updated to reflect the new Infection Prevention and Control Guidance issued on 24 November 2021.

To access the latest Standard Operating Procedures, visit YourSpace.

Follow infection prevention and control measures in and out of work

Please remember to adhere to infection prevention control measures at all times. These are in place to protect patients, staff and your loved ones and include social distancing - Hands, Face, Space.

Every action counts – because I care

Fans (electric)

The Trust does not support the use of bladed fans in any setting.

Please read the SOP here

guidance on how to cope in hot weather.

Flu

Flu vaccination appointments. Please book your appointment via this link and choose ‘Flu only’ booking your appointment  

Hands, Face, Space

Keeping your environment clean and ventilating the workspace is extremely important in the fight against COVID-19. Opening windows to allow in fresh air has been proven to play a key role in reducing the risk of transmission. Regular, frequent cleaning of surfaces and items frequently touched (high touch points) with the appropriate cleaning agent is vitally important to break the chain of infection and reduce the spread.

A guide showing items and and areas more prone to spreading infections
For more information: Infection.ControlTeam@merseycare.nhs.uk

Influenza testing and support guide

The infection prevention and control team has produced a standard operating procedure to guide staff on how to manage patients who have had a negative COVID-19 test but are remaining symptomatic. Please follow the link to the SOP page for details: 

https://yourspace.merseycare.nhs.uk/clinical/standard-operating-procedures-sops

In these cases, the guidance asks for continued isolation and to repeat the COVID-19 test 48 hours apart from the initial test. We also ask staff to obtain an additional flu swab using a separate form if the patient has symptoms of flu as we are now entering flu season. A flu swab is only needed if patients remain symptomatic needing the second COVID-19 test.

These additional tests and assurances will support clinicians in determining alternative diagnosis. Please contact the infection prevention and control team on 0151 295 3036 for any further information.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

The North West continues to see increased rates of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) in children. The following information and guidance has been shared by NHS North West:

  • Transmission can be reduced through standard infection control practices: such as respiratory hygiene, hand washing with soap and warm water, and cleaning of surfaces
  • Ideally, people with colds should avoid close contact with newborn babies, infants born prematurely (before 37 weeks), children under two born with heart or lung conditions, and those with weakened immune systems
  • Smoking around young children is also a risk factor for severe RSV infection
  • Community based support can remind parents/signpost to information and support.

Further information can be found via the following links:

Safe distancing posters

Please display new posters one and two in office spaces, health centres and other settings to remind staff, service users and our patients to maintain safe social distancing measures. By continuing to maintain social distancing between people, we can all help to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. If you are able to laminate before displaying, please do so.  If you have any further questions contact the Infection Prevention and Control Team: InfectionControl@merseycare.nhs.uk or call 0151 295 3036.

Self testing swab guidance and translations

 https://www.publichealth.hscni.net/covid-19-test-kit-instruction​

Staying safe, staying well

This important information is to help to keep you safe while isolating at home if you have coronavirus but have not been admitted to hospital.

Laundering of staff uniforms and scrubs (see Standard Operating Procedures

Not all areas will have changing facilities at work. Where this is the case staff can change at home but must not go to shops, pubs, restaurants etc. whilst in uniforms/scrubs.

Donning and doffing

short film to remind you of the correct process for donning and doffing your personal protective equipment (PPE).

Removal and disposal of Personal Protective Equipment

Donning of Personal Protective Equipment

eLearning training is available on ESR.

Ward isolation process

The admissions process has been reviewed, all admissions will be isolated and swabbed on admission as per the previous process. Regardless of a negative result they will now require a further period of isolation and a second swab on day 5 to 7 of the admission. If this result is negative, isolation can be discontinued but they will receive a third and final swab on day 14.