We are regularly reviewing guidance to ensure we minimise the risk of Covid-19 for our staff, patients and visitors. Given the increasing infection rate of Covid-19, and in line with other Shelford Group hospitals, we have agreed that clinical areas cannot be assessed as ‘Covid secure’, even if all practical measures have been taken to control potential spread of infection.

Covid-19 secure environment – local H&S risk assessments

All areas must complete a Local Covid-19 Secure Environment – Health and Safety Risk assessment to comply with health and safety legal requirements and government Covid-19 secure guidelines and ensure that the risks from Covid-19 are reduced to as low as reasonably practicable. The risk assessment will help you identify the actions that need to be taken.

The risk assessment has been updated and all areas must complete the new risk assessment. You should continue to regularly review your risk assessment and ensure you are maintaining the control measures you have put in place.

It contains further actions that are required and has been written as a series of questions in order to assist with the identification and implementation of control measures to manage the risks associated with Covid-19 in workplaces. It also will help to determine whether workplaces are Covid-19 secure.

Clinical areas can be classed as ‘covid managed’, which means that all possible measures have been introduced, but due to clinical activity being undertaken it cannot be classed as ‘covid secure’. Non-clinical areas that meet the criteria can be assessed as ‘covid secure’. ‘Covid managed’ and ‘covid secure’ areas are both considered ‘green areas’.

Instructions on how to complete the local risk assessment are provided on the document itself.

Please read the accompanying guidance document before completing the risk assessment.

Once completed, the risk assessment must be sent to Covid.secureenvironment@addenbrookes.nhs.uk. Should any items need to be purchased to meet the requirements these can be sourced as per below:

Item Who to contact
Wipes Order via procurement
Hand sanitiser Please call 348121, Medirest help desk
Floor tape Place call on 216696, facilities help desk
Signage Place call on 216696, facilities help desk
Posters Please e-mail covid.secureenvironment@addenbrookes.nhs.uk
Plastic screens for desks Please see the Desk screen order process with details on how to order desk screens from our supplier, Northgate

If on completing the local risk assessment it confirms that your area is Covid-19 secure you will be able to display a poster so that others entering the area are aware. Please e-mail covid.secureenvironment@addenbrookes.nhs.uk for more details about this.

A Trust wide Covid-19 Secure Environment – Health and Safety Risk Assessment on how the Trust is managing the risks associated with Covid-19 has also been developed, and is available here.

Guidance on the wearing of facemasks is available on the PPE and infection control pages of the portal.

What is considered a clinical area?
A clinical area is any space where clinical interaction with patients takes place, including any support accommodation associated with it (such as offices, staff rooms, stores).

What does this mean for staff in high risk groups?
Staff who have either been shielding or are identified as being in the ‘red’ risk category in the individual staff risk assessment forms can return to work in green areas with appropriate risk assessments in place, with the support of Occupational Health.
Please email covid.secureenvironment@addenbrookes.nhs.uk if you have any questions.

What is a Covid-19 secure workplace?
Only non-clinical workplaces can declare themselves as Covid-19 secure.

A non-clinical workplace can be declared as Covid-19 secure where it has met all of the following conditions:

  • a local covid-19 secure risk assessment has been carried out and the results shared with staff
  • there are cleaning, handwashing and hygiene procedures in place in line with guidance
  • all reasonable steps have been taken to help staff work safely from a Covid-19 secure workplace or work from home
  • all reasonable steps have been taken to maintain a 2m distance in the workplace
  • where 2m is not viable, at least a 1m distance is in place and all possible mitigation actions have been taken to manage transmission risk

Non-clinical workplaces that are unable to meet these five main conditions cannot declare themselves as Covid-19 secure.

What steps do we need to take to maintain social distancing in the workplace?
Every effort must be made to keep people 2 metres (6 and a half feet) apart at all times, including in communal rest areas and during work breaks.

Steps that usually will be needed include:

  • reviewing layouts and processes/reconfiguring seating and desks to allow staff to work further apart from each other
  • managing occupancy levels to enable social distancing
  • creating additional space by using other parts of the workplace or building that have been freed up by remote working
  • using floor markers or visual markers to help people comply with social distancing
  • avoiding the use of hot desks/spaces and where not possible, cleaning and sanitising workstation between different occupants including shared equipment
  • use of one-way systems where reasonably practicable to do so

Where 2 metre social distancing is not possible

Where 2 metres is not possible, the following mitigating factors must be considered and implemented where reasonably practicable to do so:

• Stopping the activity
• Further increasing the frequency of handwashing and surface cleaning
• Using screens or barriers to create a physical barrier between people
• Keeping the activity time to as short as possible
• Using back-to-back or side-to-side working (rather than face to face)
• Using ‘fixed teams or partnering’ (also known as ‘bubbles’) to reduce the number of people each person has contact with and keeping teams as small as possible
• Limiting the movement of people around the department eg considering if staff/patients can stay in one place or at one workstation
• Marking the floor of areas to show where people should stand and what direction they should face
• Limiting the amount of different equipment or surfaces that people need to touch

Clinical School
Risk assessments have been undertaken in the Clinical School in line with University of Cambridge requirements (as the owner of the building).

There are a number of safety measures in place including the availability of hand sanitiser, enhanced cleaning, installation of screens and one way systems. The building is also working at a reduced occupancy of 30%.

Face masks must be worn in the Clinical School where 2-metre social distancing cannot be maintained.

Guidance for staff on contractor and external visitors during the pandemic

Please note that restricted visiting is currently in place at CUH. This also includes visiting of external visitors (ie. non-patient visitors) and contractors.

Only essential contractors and external visitors are permitted on site eg. those that are necessary for operational and business continuity, safe facility management or regulatory requirements (and where it cannot be performed remotely). Where you are unsure if the visit is essential, please escalate to your bronze command or senior management team.

A checklist is available here and must be completed for each visit/activity to ensure it is performed safely and in line with Covid-19 secure requirements.

Further information can be found on Merlin in the Trust’s Managing Contractors Policy.