We do not want any staff member working in CUH to take unnecessary risks with their health. An individual staff risk assessment should be completed by all staff and updated whenever there are significant changes to their health, job role or work environment.

You should have a conversation with your line manager about your risk group and your role. It is not necessary to detail particular health conditions or other factors affecting vulnerability to Covid-19 unless you feel comfortable to. Advice can be requested from occupational health if more information is needed.

You should ensure that you both understand the risk to your health and how any risk can be mitigated. It may be appropriate for you to agree to continue your current role in full, to reduce some types of activity, to work from home or for you to be re-deployed to a different role – which may include clinical and / or non-clinical duties in your own area or in another department.

In the event that none of these options are practical or reasonable in your particular circumstances you should remain off work on the grounds of medical exclusion.

Risk assessment
We have updated the individual staff risk assessment as and when evidence and guidance has changed.
It takes into account risk factors which affect vulnerability to Covid-19, such as:
• Age
• Sex
• Ethnicity
• Underlying medical conditions
• Pregnancy

It also reinforces advice regarding social distancing and other control measures and outlines how to undertake an informed and structured local risk assessment.

We thank all staff and managers for having engaged with the risk assessment process. It should be reviewed and updated if there are significant changes to your individual risk factors, you role or your workplace. A risk assessment should be undertaken for all new members of staff.

Once the assessment tool is completed, we ask that the employee’s HealthRoster record is updated to reflect this task has been completed by adding the date that the assessment took place and inputting the individual’s risk category only where ‘green’ is not the risk category. Instructions for how to do this is included as an appendix in the risk assessment tool. Do not input the risk category if it is green.

If your risk group colour changes at any point, please arrange to speak to your Line Manager to discuss this further and to agree if adjustments should be made to your working practices. This should occur without delay if you are in any group other than ‘green’.

The risk assessment provides detail and outcome on the risk of occupational exposure to covid-19 for staff. It is designed as guidance to help with joint decision making on reducing risk of exposure to covid-19 to as low as is reasonably practicable. Depending on your medical history and associated risk factors, you will be categorised into one of four groups: green, yellow, orange or red. The red group has the highest risk from exposure.

You do not need to complete version 6 if you have previously completed version 5. Version 6 is intended for new starters and those who’s health or other risk factors have changed. We will continue to update the risk assessment as national guidance is updated.
Download the Individual staff risk assessment Version 6 (Word doc)

Vaccination
Whilst emerging evidence regarding the effectiveness of the Covid-19 vaccines as regards limiting severe Covid-19 infections and reducing transmission is encouraging, it is not yet considered sufficient to incorporate vaccination status into the risk assessment process. In view of this, Covid-19 risk group should not be altered after one or two doses of vaccine. This remains under review, as evidence is published.

Line managers should not take vaccination into account when reviewing risk assessments with their staff. Individuals may make their own assessment on the impact of vaccination on their vulnerability but this should be at their discretion.

Pregnancy
There is evidence that pregnancy increases vulnerability to Covid-19, particularly after 28 weeks. In view of this all members of staff who are pregnant should be regarded as in the following risk group:

Orange risk group
• Women less than 28 weeks pregnant with no underlying health conditions that place them at a greater risk of severe illness from Covid-19.

Red risk group
• Women less than 28 weeks pregnant with underlying health conditions that place them at a greater risk of severe illness from Covid-19.
• Women who are 28 weeks pregnant and beyond

The Covid 19 – Individual Risk Assessment should be completed or reviewed as soon as a line manager is informed of an employee’s pregnancy. It should take place at the same time, and form part of the New and Expectant Mothers Risk Assessment. These assessments should be reviewed as appropriate during pregnancy, including prior at 28 weeks.
Download the New and Expectant Mothers Risk Assessment here (PDF version).
Download the New and Expectant Mothers Risk Assessment here (Word version).

Current national guidance can be found at Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice for pregnant employees and should be taken account of in this process.

Updated advice for clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) staff as shielding ends from 01 April 2021
Government advice is that people in the clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) group do not need to shield from 1 April 2021 onwards. Shielding advice for the clinically extremely vulnerable to stop from April. We have applied the CEV guidance to all members of staff in the red risk group, even if they have not received official shielding notification and so this process is also applicable to them.

The Government advice includes: “People are still advised to continue working from home where possible, but if people are unable to do so, employers are required by law to take steps to make workplaces COVID-19 secure and should discuss this with their employees.”

As a Trust we want to support staff with following this guidance. However, we are aware that there will be some people in the red risk group who would prefer to return to the workplace (working on site) and feel comfortable doing so, even if it may be possible for them to continue to work from home. As long as the risk is not extremely high (as determined by staff health risk assessment, previous return from shielding assessments (if appropriate), Covid-19 environment assessment and this questionnaire), it is the individual member of staff’s request and risk is reduced to as low as reasonably practicable, this may be appropriate. Each case must be considered individually.

The Supplementary Risk Assessment Questionnaire – Red risk group (including those previously shielding) must be completed in discussion between the staff member and their line manager, detailing risks, mitigation and agreed control measures to be implemented. This form can be found in the appendices of the version 6 of the individual staff health risk assessment . A copy of the completed and signed form must be placed on the personal file of the individual staff member.

If when completing the form you require additional input from occupational health this can be requested via the referral form, also found in the appendices of version 6 of the individual staff health risk assessment.

Advice and support at this difficult time remains available to both individual members of staff and line managers from the divisional heads of workforce and medical staffing.

Please ensure that the outcome of the risk assessment is recorded on HealthRoster with the corresponding date. All previous health risk assessment entries on HealthRoster will need to be closed to ensure accurate recording. Related homeworking status should also be updated. Guidance is available on the HealthRoster pages on Connect.