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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

PLEASE NOTE: This advice is updated routinely to reflect the evolving situation around COVID-19. Please visit the official NHS website here for the latest information.What preventative measures should I take?

It is important that you follow official advice around preventative measures such as handwashing and etiquette around coughing and tissue use. See the official advice here

1. What is coronavirus and how do I know if I have it?

Please visit our dedicated Covid-19 page for all the details and symptoms here.


2. In what circumstances should I not come to work?

You only need to not attend work if you recognise the symptoms described and have been advised to self-isolate by the 111 online service, a medical professional or your Trust. 


3. What measures are in place across the NHS to minimise the risk of this virus spreading?

The health and social care systems and public health authorities in all parts of the UK have cascaded information widely to all health professionals on steps to take if they identify patients who may have COVID-19.


4. As an agency or bank worker, will I be provided with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and Fit Testing as standard?

The safety of our agency members is always our priority and we work in partnership with our NHS Trust partners at all times to ensure this and maintain the highest standards of infection control. In relation to the current situation around COVID-19, if, as part of your shift, you are asked to work in an area where there are patients who have contracted the virus or are suspected to have done so, we will work with the Trust to ensure you have all the necessary PPE and Fit Testing as appropriate. If you are not asked to work in one of these affected areas as part of your shift, then PPE and Fit Testing will not be necessary.


5. Can I refuse to treat a patient who is suspected to or has a confirmed case of the virus where I have not been provided with Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) and Fit Tested in line with the NHS Trust Infection Control Policy?

In this scenario, please immediately express your clinical concern regarding your PPE and ask questions to make sure that you understand the request.  After listening to the response, if you do not believe that the PPE provided to you aligns with Trust policy, please politely refuse, and inform your consultant at the earliest opportunity by contacting them directly, or calling a member of the team on 020 8498 6800.


6. Can I refuse to treat a patient who is suspected to or has a confirmed case of the virus?

It is vital to patient care that agency and full time NHS workers work as a team and refusal to care for the patient puts the team and the patients at risk. It is of course reasonable to express concern if you don’t feel confident and to ask questions to make sure that you do understand.  Undertaking work in the NHS does mean that these situations will occur, and staff are expected to provide care as usual. Trusts have plans in place to ensure that safety of staff is paramount in these situations. This includes training and protective equipment and clothing if necessary. This will differ from Trust to Trust so please speak to your local team for further information. You will not be asked to do anything that you don’t feel appropriately trained to undertake however, the Trust will ensure that you are well informed, suitably trained and have the correct equipment if necessary.


7. If I have recently travelled, what should I do?

Please visit our dedicated Coronavirus page and follow the government advice here


8. What do I do if a family member has a suspected case of the virus?

It is important to remain calm and not make assumptions. This is the time of year where many people have cold-like symptoms which may not be related to the virus at all. In the first instance, please speak to your consultant or contact Compliance Manager and, in the event that you have to leave work, please inform your consultant in the normal way.