latest health care news

05.06.20

NHS England urges trusts to raise awareness around Covid-19

Additional information and guidance around social distancing, hand hygiene and PPE measures must be widely promoted and accessible to staff at all levels, as NHS leaders call on hospital trusts and other healthcare providers to ensure maximum dissemination of the vital messaging.

This includes looking at new and more effective ways of ensuring those working within trusts and organisations who may not have regular access to internal intranets, staff briefings, mobiles, apps and webinars – such as porters, cleaners, agency, shift and support staff – also receive regular information updates related to Covid-19 and the necessary precautions they should be taking to protect themselves and others.

The new emphasis comes as part of an additional drive to reduce the risk of contracting the virus among NHS staff, particularly those identified as being at additional risk.

Every NHS employer across England is being supported to immediately review their communications efforts and make adjustments to ensure they reach all staff, from ambulance services through to hospital trusts and community teams.

These efforts have included working innovatively with NHS England and NHS Improvement, a range of partners including voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations and the NHS’ digital delivery arm NHSX. Collectively, there has been a focus to provide crucial information relating to the current coronavirus outbreak in alternative and accessible formats, including ensuring widespread access to support including British Sign Language.

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The organisation worked with its Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff network to ensure accessibility for a range of staff by producing infographic action cards for housekeepers, ward hosts and porters on a range of issues
 

Prerana Issar, NHS Chief People Officer, said: “It’s essential that every single NHS colleague has access to information that will help keep them safe. Employers need to take particular care to reach those with less access to internal communications such as porters, cleaners, agency and shift workers, as well as colleagues who don’t speak English as a first language”.

Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust has been hailed as a prime example for tackling awareness head on with innovative, bespoke communications, tips and action cards aimed at porters, cleaners and catering staff which are displayed in wards, on poster sites and communal staffing areas.

The organisation worked with its Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME) staff network to ensure accessibility for a range of staff by producing infographic action cards for housekeepers, ward hosts and porters on a range of issues.

Information aimed at 5,000 colleagues, especially those in support service roles and individuals who do not speak English as a first language, are available, covering effective cleaning and decontamination of patient’s rooms, safety guidelines for transferring patients with COVID-19 and working in communal and high risk acute areas.

Hand hygiene advice is also provided for during transfers at the commencement of shifts, before and after work breaks and at the end of shift rotas.

Ashley Flores, Nurse Consultant and Deputy Director of Infection Prevention, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust said: “Producing the Action cards was a great opportunity to communicate information about the COVID-19 to the Facilities team. We very much appreciate all the hard work undertaken by hostesses, housekeepers and porters, and their important contribution to the control of infection.

"It is hoped that the action cards were useful in providing succinct guides on certain aspects of their work, to enhance safety for staff and patients.”

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