Covid-19 Practice Staff & Self-Isolation
PLEASE NOTE 24th February 2022 - Although the COVID restrictions have been lifted in England, the Infection Prevention Control (IPC) guidance for healthcare workers remain in place and still advises that face masks should continue be worn by staff and patients in health care settings.
On 30th March 2022 NHSE published a letter Coronavirus » Living with COVID-19 – testing update
Whilst free testing will cease for the general public from 1st April 2022, this letter details the cohorts of patients that will still be tested.
The letter also lays out the details for staff testing arrangements as follows:-
From 1 April 2022, in line with UKHSA advice, NHS staff testing will operate as follows:
- NHS patient facing staff should continue to test twice weekly when asymptomatic. LAMP testing will no longer be available after 31 March. LFD tests will continue to be available through the gov.uk portal for NHS staff working in a patient-facing role.
- (NHS England is working with UKHSA to determine how routine asymptomatic testing should be stepped down in line with any decrease in prevalence rates).
- Symptomatic NHS staff should test themselves using LFDs. LFD tests will continue to be available through the gov.uk portal for NHS staff in England with symptoms.
- Staff who test positive should continue to follow the current return to work guidance. LFDs to support this guidance will continue to be available through the gov.uk portal for NHS staff in England.
- Staff who are household contacts of a positive COVID-19 case will now be able to continue to work as normal if they remain asymptomatic and continue to test twice weekly. They will no longer be required to have a PCR test in order to return to work.
- Staff undertaking COVID-19 tests as part of a research study (eg SIREN) should follow the protocols of their study. Please contact your local study coordinator for further details.
- Staff should undertake COVID-19 tests on an ad hoc basis if instructed by their employer or director of public health in specific circumstances. Staff will be notified via their line management structure if this applies to them
The government webpage Managing healthcare staff with symptoms of a respiratory infection or a positive COVID-19 test result is one to check for updates and self-isolation changes. You are strongly recommended to check the details in full as they are being updated at pace at present.
If you need to make contact with the Health Protection Agency for their advice and guidance, you can find your local contact via the link Wessex LMCs: Covid-19 Notifiable Disease Information & find your local Health Protection Agency