Reporting your Lateral Flow Test Results
From Monday 23 November, staff will be asked to submit their ongoing lateral flow test results electronically to enable epidemiological analysis.
Centralised Absence Reporting Line
Self-isolation guidance (following changes on 16 August 2021): All colleagues must still continue to contact the Centralised Absence Hub if they have been advised or are aware they are a contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19. Under the updated national guidance, there is an explicit requirement for staff members to inform their employer immediately if they are required to work in the 10 days following their last contact with a COVID-19 case. For UHP staff, this contact is to be made via the Trust’s Centralised Absence Hub. Trained staff will then guide you through a risk assessment.
Colleagues, including bank staff and volunteers, must still contact the Trust’s Centralised Absence Hub on 01752 430000 where they have been advised they are a contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or if they are aware of being in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
If you feel unwell and have any concerns about symptoms, please isolate your household and call the Centralised Absence Reporting Line on 01752 430000. The line is manned from 06.00 to 20.00. If calling between 20.00 and 06.00, please leave a message on the answering machine.
Find out more about staff testing: visit the testing process for staff page.
For COVID related advice and staff FAQs, visit the COVID-19 Advice for UHP Employees page.
COVID-19 Advice for UHP Employees
An overview on Coronavirus guidance, including how to check your symptoms.
Please contact NHS 111 if you feel worse/ no better at any point during and by the end of your isolation. If you are acutely unwell dial 999 (inform them that you are isolating). More symptom information can be found on the NHS website.
- General guidance for NHS employees
- Information about PPE in the workplace
- Guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection
- Goverment's general advice on work absence (You can generate your own sick note, specific to COVID-19, from the NHS website)
- To access the staff risk assessment form for COVID-19, knowing how to record COVID-19 related absences and the management of different zones, see the documents at the bottom of the Staff bulletin page.
- Guidance on maintaining educational provision
- More COVID information on key workers
- Social distancing resources - posters (Staffnet)
Update from 8 October 2021
The disparity between the guidance within Healthcare settings and the ‘Stay at Home’ guidance published by the Government on August 16th is causing understandable confusion. We thought it may be helpful to explain again why the ‘test and release’ concept for the wider population is not applied in healthcare settings. There is specific guidance for health and social care settings that has informed our current guidance COVID-19: management of staff and exposed patients or residents in health and social care settings - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Most specifically it states
- if the staff member works with patients or residents who are highly vulnerable to COVID-19 (as determined by the organisation), a risk assessment should be undertaken, and consideration given to redeployment during their 10 day self-isolation period. Additional mitigations may be put in place by employers in different settings for fully vaccinated staff who are identified as household contacts. Refer to organisational guidance as necessary.
When a member of your household has COVID-19 there is a significant possibility you will become infected. Individual circumstances impact on this likelihood, but even at the lowest published estimate of 20%, this is obviously not what we want for patients. Peri-operative and vulnerable patients are known to be particularly susceptible to COVID and we cannot translate the broad guidance for the general public to healthcare settings at this time; there is specific guidance that has informed our position.
No testing regime is 100% sensitive and even a negative PCR in the morning does not mean that an individual is not already positive or will not become so later that day. If you have a positive household member you will, in most circumstances, be asked to keep from work for 10 days. There is however a process of exception built within our guidance, the responsibility for taking colleagues through this sits with Occupational Health, with guidance from Infection Prevention and Control Colleagues. It is not the responsibility of the Centralised Absence Hub or local managers.
Exceptions are based on a) refining the risk of an individual becoming positive b) defining the risk from a positive individual coming in to work (What sort of patients are they seeing, what are they doing and what is the risk to their colleagues - an OH / IPC / clinical assessment) and c) what are the risks to patients of them not working (a clinical / IPC/ operational assessment) with the risk ultimately being judged at executive level. However, you will see from the above that it will only rarely be the case that an exception can be made.
If you have a query, please contact the Occupational Health assessment inbox using: email@example.com
Sue Wilkins - Director Mass Vaccination, Flu and Testing
Dr Richard Johnston - Occupational Health Lead Physician
Dr Peter Jenks - Director of Infection Prevention and Control
Updated July 2021
Government guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/covid-19-coronavirus-restrictions-what-you-can-and-cannot-do We know this is a difficult and anxious time for our staff whether you are working on site, working from home or have child and caring responsibilities – it is tough.
We’ve outlined some key areas in this communication to help you with questions you may have around your health and job, and also we offer some support routes if you’ve had a bad day, or you are going through a difficult time and just need to talk with someone.
Let’s start with the support that is available to you:
You can find a range of personal support via the Staff Support Hub Additionally, national wellbeing services are available to all health and care workers which will compliment some of the excellent support we already have in place, you can find out more here: people.nhs.uk
We encourage you to access these and make use of the support available - this includes our leaders/line managers who are trying to meet competing demands and look after those around them. We encourage you to make time to access support for your self-care too.
Schools and Caring for People
Happy Days Nursery in Building 3 of the Business Park is open to all key workers. If you need childcare for younger children, please contact them to see if they can help on 01752 786318 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In the event that something happens to change your normal caring arrangements and consequently your ability to work, please speak with your line manager at the earliest opportunity. We are asking line managers to handle these types of situations in a sensitive way, as we understand the worry that this can bring. Line managers will explore avenues such as whether working from home / working more flexibly, can be accommodated for a period of time, or if annual leave/unpaid leave can be put in place. If you experience problems further to this, including any schools not allowing children to return to school, please escalate this to the HR team who will provide further guidance and support in this respect. They can be contacted on telephone : External: 01752 437042 Internal: 37042 or via email at email@example.com
Working from home guidance
Are you one of our colleagues who is working from home/remotely or do you manage someone who is? Please read our Working from home guidance is available to read here which is designed to help and support those working in this way.. Due to the large number of staff now working from home during COVID-19, the Occupational Health department has prepared guidance for staff View the display screen equipment guidance here
Line Managers: please don’t forget to record staff working from home onto Healthroster by selecting the unavailability group, working day and reason “COVID WFH – COVID-19 Working From Home - Limit Risk”. If you do have any issues with this please contact the Operational Resourcing Team – firstname.lastname@example.org.
We would like to remind colleagues to report all absence through our central absence line on telephone 01752 430000 please.
Guidance and Action for Line Managers and staff following Changes to Shielding from 1 April
Line Managers are asked to review individual Covid-19 Risk Assessments for clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) colleagues who were shielding, using the updated version of the Risk Assessment guidance, to agree a plan that will enable them to work safely.
The current Government advice is still to work from home where possible, and working from home in the short to medium term may remain the most appropriate option for CEV colleagues who have been shielding and/or where the Trust’s Coronavirus risk assessment scoring system puts them in the highest risk category (“Very High Risk”). Colleagues in this position should only return to the workplace following a review of their Risk Assessment and if it is safe to do so. More detailed guidance on this is set out here:
We still believe that the Trust’s risk assessment process and the ALAMA risk assessment, on which it is based, represent the best available assessment of risk and our advice would be to continue to follow the Trust’s risk assessment guide. We recognise that individuals may have differing tolerance of the risk from Coronavirus and differing drivers for continuing to come in to work but, if you are in the “very high risk” category you should work from home if possible. If it is not possible or if there are strong reasons to continue coming in to work you should have a further conversation with your line manager, guided by the advice in the risk assessment. Only if both you and your line manager are happy that your risk can be managed, such that if you are attending work your risk is not significantly greater than the risk within your own home, should you continue to come in to work.
The Trust’s risk assessment guidance is at this link.
The new national guidance may also cause concern for those with vulnerable family members at home. It remains important that we keep the hospital running as effectively as possible at this time but you should continue to follow the advice in the Trust’s risk assessment document and managers should still seek to support those with particularly vulnerable household/family members taking into consideration the operational demands of the workplace.
It is likely that vaccination with one dose of vaccine gives a good (but not absolute) level of protection against Coronavirus. The protection builds progressively up to about 3 or 4 weeks after the vaccine was given. The level of protection afforded by the vaccine may be reduced in some with certain underlying conditions (such as immunosuppression) although even a reduced level of protection is very important in this situation.
We do not yet have official guidance on how much to adjust the risk assessment following vaccination and this level of adjustment may vary from person to person in the higher risk groups. For this reason we are not currently advising that the risk assessment should be changed in those who have been vaccinated. We are hoping for further advice soon and, as soon as it is received, we will publish updated advice.
Coronavirus Risk Assessments
The Trust’s most up-to-date Risk Assessment Tool is recommended, in particular, for those who have previously fallen into the moderate or higher risk categories using the previous July 2020 tool (as a new risk category assignment may now be appropriate), or for consideration where there has been a change in underlying health or for staff deploying into a new role. For more guidance please refer to the advice contained within the Risk Assessment tool document. The new form and also the Team Risk Assessment Guide are available on StaffNet via the links below:
These FAQs relate to the latest available guidance, as the situation is continuously evolving this guidance might change at short notice. We will endeavour to keep this information as current as possible, however if you have any further concerns please contact the Centralised Absence Reporting Line (01752 430000) regarding sickness and absence, or the Occupational Health Advice line (email@example.com) regarding fitness to work.
1. My household member is self-isolating as they have been in contact with someone who is COVID positive (including children), am I able to come to work?
If your household member is not symptomatic and only isolating due to a contact with a positive individual, then you do not need to isolate. For example, if there is a case of COVID at your child’s school bubble and they are sent home to isolate, you do not need to isolate yourself unless your child or someone else in your family tests positive for COVID or becomes symptomatic.
1a. I have difficulties with my care arrangements because I need to care for a child/dependant who is only isolating due to contact with a positive individual. What should I do?
If you have difficulties with any type of care arrangements relating to Covid which affects your ability to attend work, please talk with your line manager who will undertake to find alternative options with you. This may involve remote working from home or time shifting of your work, for example changing your shift to work at other times when you are able to arrange childcare for your child.
If all options have been thoroughly explored with your line manager and you are still unable to work, you should report your absence to the Centralised Absence Reporting line on 01752 430000. For a temporary period of time, as an exception to the Trust’s Leave Policy, the Trust will consider up to one week’s paid crisis leave in these circumstances, after which if absence continues then other arrangements should be discussed with your manager such as the use of annual leave or unpaid leave. Any further periods of absence related to caring for children/dependants due to Covid will be considered in line with this guidance. This applies to Covid-related crisis leave only and will be subject to further review. For all other crisis leave guidance, please see the Leave Policy.
2. A member of my household has tested positive for COVID, what should I do?
You will be required to self-isolate as a household for 10 days from the onset of your household member’s symptoms, or from the date of their swab if they have no symptoms. On day 11 you may return to work as long as you have not had symptoms. Please call the Centralised Absence Reporting Line on 01752 430000.
3. I am isolating as a member of my household has tested positive for COVID and I have developed symptoms, what should I do?
You will need to arrange to have a COVID test by calling the Centralised Absence Reporting Line on 01752 430000 or calling 119. If you test positive, you will need to re-start your isolation period from the start of your symptoms for a further 10 days. You can return to work from day 11 if you are feeling better and not had a fever for 48 hours. If you call 119 to book please notify the Centralised Absence Hub you have done so.
4. I feel unwell with COVID symptoms such as a continuous cough and/or a raised temperature
If you feel unwell and have any concerns about symptoms, please self-isolate along with your household and call the Centralised Absence Reporting Line on 01752 430000 who will arrange a COVID PCR test if you have symptoms of COVID infection.
5. My lateral flow test is positive, what should I do?
You should self-isolate along with your household. Please call the Centralised Absence Reporting line on 01752 430000 or 119 to arrange to have a PCR test. If you call 119 to book please notify the Centralised Absence Hub you have done so.
6. Negative Lateral flow test but feeling unwell?
Please note, if you have had a negative lateral flow test result but you have any symptoms of COVID, you must take a PCR test. A lateral flow test is fine for routine testing of people without symptoms. Anyone with symptoms must take a PCR test.
7. Working from Home and Self isolation
Please note that if you are already working from home and are notified by Test & Trace that you need to self-isolate, you do not need to notify the Centralised Absence Reporting Line but should make your line manager aware.
8. I have tested positive for COVID, what do I do now?
You will need to self-isolate for 10 days from the start of your symptoms or from the day of your positive swab result if you do not have any symptoms. You will be able to return to work by day 11 if you are feeling better and not had a temperature for 48 hours.
9. I have come to the end of my 10 days self-isolation after testing positive for COVID and feel fine
You are now able to return to work as long as you feel well enough and not had a temperature for 48 hours. A cough or loss of smell symptoms may linger for longer than 10 days but this does not require you to continue to self-isolate.
10. I have come to the end of my 10 days self-isolation after testing positive for COVID and don’t feel any better
You should contact NHS 111 via their website or call. If you are acutely unwell, call 999. Please continue to report ongoing absence to the Centralised Absence Reporting line on 01752 430000.
11. I have recently tested positive for COVID and now back at work, I have developed new possible COVID symptoms, what should I do?
You and your household will need to follow the self-isolation steps again. Please isolate along with your household and call the Centralised Absence Reporting line on 01752 430000 to arrange a COVID swab. If this is positive, you will need to continue to isolate for 10 days from the start of your symptoms.
12. How accurate is the current swab testing?
The COVID PCR test is an antigen which detects viral RNA from a nose and throat swab. They are believed to have a very low false positive rate, but a higher false negative rate (‘missed positive cases’). The accuracy of the test will also depend upon the timing of the test (more accurate if you have symptoms) and the user.
It is not possible to eliminate all risk and as Critical Workers in caring for those with Coronavirus we are likely to have to accept a little more risk than non-critical workers who are isolating at home. However, we must avoid unnecessarily high-risk behaviours and reduce risk to as low as reasonably practicable. What is reasonably practicable will, to some extent, depend upon the scale of the outbreak, the resources available and Government guidance. Most people are worried about the consequences of Coronavirus on themselves or others. Although this is understandable, as different people’s idea of risk varies hugely, it must be remembered that the vast majority of people who get the virus will have a mild illness which can be managed at home over 7 days or so. There are conditions that put certain people at higher risk of developing more severe illness and these are highlighted below and, in more detail, in the Staff Risk Assessment document.
1. What steps are being taken to reduce risk in the hospital?
As with other Hospitals, the Trust is taking steps to reduce the risk to staff, patients and visitors. These steps include: segregating non-COVID, suspected COVID and confirmed COVID cases with increasing PPE requirements in each Zone; reducing movement of patients between wards; providing greater training for staff in higher risk areas; enhancing cleaning and decontamination regimes throughout the hospital; reducing non-essential patient visits to outpatients and other departments; reducing the number of patient visitors; enforcing strict hand washing and good respiratory hygiene amongst staff, patients and visitors.
2. I think I might be at higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus, what should I do?
You must complete the Staff Risk Assessment document. This will help to put you into either of the four risk categories. Low risk, moderate risk and very high risk. The steps to follow in each of these cases are discussed in the document and you should discuss this with your manager. If you or your manager disagrees with, or needs further advice regarding the risk assessment, please contact the Occupational Health Adviceline (firstname.lastname@example.org).
1. I am self-isolating, do I still get paid?
Yes. Self-isolation will be recorded as special leave with full pay, i.e. the pay that colleagues would normally receive, in line with our local payroll procedure. Self-isolation special leave will be considered as a temporary additional entitlement, separate to any existing policies. It is possible that in certain circumstances staff may require more than one period of self-isolation, in these cases the arrangements described will apply to each period of self-isolation.
2. I have a child/dependent that is required to self-isolate, do I still get paid?
For NHS staff with carer responsibilities, we understand from the Local Authority that sufficient provision is in place for schooling/childcare facilities within Plymouth and the surrounding area. The on-site nursery, Happy Days has also expanded its normal provision. However, should colleagues have difficulties with any type of care arrangements which affects work, please talk with your line manager who will undertake to find alternative options with you. This may involve remote working or time shifting of your work, for example.
3. Do I have to discuss my medical history with the CAR Line?
No. There is no legal requirement to reveal any confidential medical information. There should be no requirement to reveal any more than you would for your normal sickness reporting. If there is any need to discuss your history in more detail, you can request to speak to Occupational Health. If any clarification is required Occupational Health may get in touch to discuss specifics (these will not be revealed to Management without your consent)
4. I am well and my family are not isolating but in light of Government advice, should I be in work?
We have had quite a few questions about who should come to work in light of the Government advice on the 23rd March. The advice is clear that key workers includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector. Unless otherwise advised, staff should therefore be reporting to work as normal. Line managers have been asked to work through who absolutely needs to be working in the hospital, and who can work remotely. We have to balance supporting safe care of patients with the need to reduce footfall, the number of contacts and thereby limit the risk of spreading the virus. If you are able to work remotely and can agree this with your line manager, you do need to make sure that you keep in touch with your manager/team, keep reading the Daily Covid-19 Bulletins and be ready to come back to work at any time.
5. I’m working remotely, how do I access IT support?
The IT department has been working to ensure remote access and working from home:
- NHSMail: Available from anywhere on any device via https://portal.nhs.net/.
- Clinical staff: Remote access is available for Citrix Desktop (formally ADF) from any internet connection using a personal computer. Details on how to register and configure access are available.
- Full Remote IT Access: Access to all Trust systems can be obtained on a Trust computer or laptop using Aruba Via. Please note, you must request remote access via the IT Service Desk and you must also set up your remote access for the first time within the Trust’s network. If you are taking a PC home, you will also need a network cable long enough to reach from your PC to your home broadband router and other peripheral items including keyboard, mouse and monitor.
The Trust has a finite number of laptops and mobiles available. The deployment of such devices will now be rationalised to ensure they are used to support critical processes. Requests are to be coordinated through the Care Group Management Structure who will contact the IM&T Service desk to progress the request.
Microsoft Teams is now available to the NHS. All Trust users now have access via the NHSmail web portal https://portal.office.com/. Being cloud based access is anywhere, at any time, from any device. Further guidance and information can be found here: NHS Teams Guidance
6. Can I talk about Coronavirus on Social Media?
If you use social media, just take a moment to think even more carefully than normal, how you use it at this time. Please think about how what you say and share might affect others. Will it reassure or alarm? Will it help? Is it kind? What is your intent when sharing it? Please remember as NHS staff, you are in a position of trust. Please use social media professionally and in line with the code from your professional bodies and our own social media policy. Post and share wisely. Please also think about how scrolling through social media affects you. How does it make you feel? Is it helping or harming you? How do you control your use of social media?
7. Staff in receipt of their NHS Pension Scheme benefits
We welcome the outcome of the Coronavirus Bill, which suspends the current Pension Regulations and removes barriers which would prevent otherwise able retired members from returning to work while continuing to receive their pension. It now allows for staff to return immediately after retirement, and continue their existing working commitments, or increase them, whilst they are in receipt of their full pension benefits, without abatement. Similarly, the Trust will suspend its two week break between retirement and return, and move to a 24 hrs break, in certain cases, during the crisis. More pension scheme information can be found on the NHS employers website.
8. What about staff who return to work during maternity/adoption/shared parental leave, or end their leave early?
The NHS offers generous occupational maternity, adoption, and shared parental leave pay, well above statutory levels. However, for staff who choose to work when they would otherwise be on leave, it is important that they do not lose their contractual entitlement. Staff can work up to ten keeping in touch (KIT) days while on maternity or adoption leave, without bringing their maternity/adoption leave to an end. Staff on shared parental leave can work up to 20 shared parental leave in touch (SPLiT) days without ending their shared parental leave. This means that many employees will have access to up to 30 days where they can work, without bringing their paid family-related leave entitlements to an end. There is now a provision available to allow line managers to consider further flexible options where staff do not lose out on their contractual entitlements, should they be able to return earlier than planned to assist in the pandemic. The terms and conditions can be found on the NHS Employers website. Please contact your line manager if you wish to discuss this further. Additionally the HR team are able to provide further advice around this via email@example.com
9. How can I raise any concerns I might have during Covid-19?
We want to reassure all staff that despite the challenging circumstances we are dealing with currently, and facing ahead, Freedom to Speak Up Guardians are still available to listen to any concerns you have. If there is something troubling you about our response to Covid-19, our expectations as a trust, or the quality of care that we are providing, and you feel unable to raise it with a senior member of staff, please contact us. We are here to listen about anything, Covid-19 related or not. We are still in office on Tuesday (Catherine Lemsalu) and Friday (Pippa Jephcott) and available to reach by phone (Ext.33381), Email firstname.lastname@example.org or through the comments box on the Staffnet link. We can also be available for face to face meetings on zoom. Please share with your colleagues. #F2SU #StillListening
10. I have been told to self-isolate via the NHS App but I’m on annual leave, do I get my leave back?
In the case where you are told to self-isolate because you’ve been in contact with someone with Covid but you have no symptoms you can either remain on annual leave for the days that fall during isolation (continue to take your annual leave for a break) or you can chose to step out of annual leave for a period of paid self-isolation (in this case you will get the leave back from the time you notified the central absence hub and stepped out of annual leave during the isolation period). In this latter case, the Trust/line manager may ask you to work from home (where this can be facilitated).
1. I have recently returned from abroad, what should I do?
You should follow the most up-to-date guidance from the government for the country you have visited. If you are required to self-isolate on your return, please inform the Centralised Absence Reporting line on 01752 430000.
2. If I had my COVID vaccination at the Trust, can I get a vaccination certificate from Occupational Health?
Proof of COVID vaccination can be found on the NHS App from Monday 17th May. If you do not have access to a smart device, then you can call NHS 119 will provide you with a letter. GP surgeries are not able to provide a vaccination certificate.
3. I have had contact (within 2 metres for 15 minutes) with a suspected COVID case without PPE in the hospital
If you do not have symptoms, then you can continue to work. If the patient subsequently tests positive for COVID, then a risk assessment should be carried out. Please see below for more advice.
If you develop symptoms, then you will need to self-isolate and get a COVID swab.
4. I have had contact (within 2 metres for 15 minutes) with a confirmed case of COVID in the hospital
A risk assessment questionnaire should be carried out: Healthcare Worker Post-Exposure Survey to COVID-19 Patient.docx Following this, please email your completed questionnaire to Occupational Health at mailto:email@example.com and a member of the Test and Trace team will contact you with further advice.
5. I have been in contact with a staff member who has a positive lateral flow test, do I need to self-isolate?
You do not need to self-isolate but you will need to follow up with the contact to get the result of their COVID PCR test. If the person you have had contact with goes on to have a positive RT-PCR COVID test, then you should complete this questionnaire Contact With COVID-19 Positive HCW Risk Assessment.docx and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. A member of the Test and Trace team will contact you with further advice.
6. I have had contact (within 2 metres 15 minutes) with a confirmed case of COVID outside of work (within the 48 hours of them testing positive or developing symptoms)
If this occurred without any PPE, then you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days. If you develop any symptoms during you isolation period, then please contact the Centralised Absence Reporting line to arrange to have a COVID swab. If you remain asymptomatic, then you can return to work on day 11 after your isolation period has ended.
If you are unsure whether a contact requires self-isolation, then please email email@example.com
7. I have been shielding and been asked to come back to work, is it safe for me to come back?
You should have an up to date COVID risk assessment and depending on the outcome of this, you may be able to come back to work. You should discuss with your manager whether it is safe for you to come back to work. After discussion with your line manager you have any questions regarding the outcome of your risk assessment, then please contact Occupational Health on firstname.lastname@example.org
This FAQ is designed to answer questions relating to the Wellbeing Day issued to all employees of the Trust as a Thank You for the extraordinary efforts that were, and continue to be made during the Covid response.
1. What is a Wellbeing Day?
The Wellbeing Day is an extra day off work that the Trust has granted to all employees in recognition of the efforts made (and that continue to be made) during the Covid-19 pandemic.
2. What can the Wellbeing Day be used for?
Anything you like! The Trust hopes that this day is used by the employee for any activity that will contribute to their health and wellbeing.
3. When can the Wellbeing Day be used?
The Wellbeing Day can be taken any time between 1st April 2021 and 31st March 2022. The date on which the day can be taken should be agreed with the employee’s line manager (as would normally be the case with annual leave) and would need to be booked and agreed in advance to ensure that adequate staffing can be maintained.
4. Who is eligible for a Wellbeing Day?
All substantive / longer term fixed term contract employees of the Trust who started their work contract with the Trust at any time before 31st March 2021. This is the case no matter what the employee has been doing over the covid period, i.e. working as normal, working from home, shielding etc. The Trust is keen to thank all employees regardless of the way in which they have contributed.
5. I am due to leave the Trust, am I still eligible?
The gesture of a Wellbeing Day is available to take between 1st April 2021 and 31st March 2022 and so to claim this day, staff must be still be employed from 1st April 2021. For staff leaving during the 2021/22 leave year, they will need to agree the day on which they take their Wellbeing Day with their manager prior to the last working day with the Trust. If the day is not taken prior to staff leaving the Trust then the day will not be paid in lieu.
6. What if I work non-standard (7.5 hour) days?
The Wellbeing Day will be a full day for each employee regardless of the amount of hours that they work in that day. For example if a shift is 7.5 hours, 12 hours or 5 hours long this is the amount of time that the employee will take off.
7. Will I receive enhancements for the day I take as a Wellbeing Day?
Yes, the Wellbeing Day will attract the same enhancements that would be assigned as if you were taking leave from your yearly annual leave entitlement. This will automatically be applied.
8. Do I have to use all my Annual Leave before taking my Wellbeing Day?
No. The Wellbeing Day is independent of annual leave allocation and should be taken before 31st March 2022.
9. As a line manager, how do I record the Wellbeing Day?
If you have any queries relating to the Wellbeing Day that are not answered above please do not hesitate to contact your Service Line HR Team via the usual channels or via the HR admin team email@example.com who will be pleased to assist with your query.
This FAQ is designed to answer questions relating to ‘Exceptional’ Annual Leave Carry Over from 1st April 2021. The Trust appreciates that some colleagues have been prevented from taking their annual leave this year due to having to maintain hospital services during severe COVID pressures. In these circumstances the Trust is asking Care Groups/Corporate Directors to use their discretion to enable colleagues who have been prevented from taking periods of annual leave, to carry over more than would be the norm.
1. How do I know what annual leave I have remaining to take?
Line managers should ensure that Health Roster is up to date with annual leave so that there is an accurate picture of outstanding leave balances, to assist in staff discussions around annual leave still remaining for this leave year (1 April 2020 – 31 March 2021) and to facilitate the taking of leave between now and end of March 2021, wherever possible. It is important for all staff to take regular breaks from work as part of maintaining their personal health & wellbeing, and line managers should ensure they actively discuss this within their teams on a regular basis. Staff can also check their own annual leave allowance by logging into Employee/Medics Online.
2. How much leave can I carry over into leave year 1st April 2021 – 31st March 2022?
a) Under existing annual leave policies for staff employed under Agenda for Change Terms and Conditions, one week’s annual leave should only be carried forward in exceptional cases. For medical Staff, it is up to 5 days.
b) Due to covid, the Trust has agreed an increased carry-over provision into 2021/22 leave year, up to a maximum of 4 working weeks in total (including the one working week described above), for any staff member. This equates to 20 days for those working 5 days per week / pro rata for less than full time. The 4 working weeks maximum will include any leave for bank holidays, untaken ‘buying of leave’ provision and time in lieu.
3. Who is authorised to approve the carry-over of leave?
For a) above, this can be considered and approved locally by the line manager.
For any request for carry over exceeding the provision in a) above, this must be approved by the Care Group Manager/Care Group Director/ Corporate Director (see Q4 below).
4. What is the criteria for approval of the increased ‘Exceptional’ carry over as b) above?
This applies where colleagues have been previously prevented from taking periods of leave as a result of having to maintain hospital services during severe COVID operational pressures, and outstanding leave cannot be accommodated within this current annual leave year (20/21). Line managers should escalate the request to authorise ‘exceptional leave carry over’ into the next financial year (21/22) to their Care Group Manager/Care Group Director, Corporate Director who have been given the authority to agree this, where appropriate. The Trust will not be able to pay in lieu of untaken leave as an alternative to carry over
5. In what circumstances might the request for increased ‘Exceptional’ carry- over be refused?
It is important to distinguish between those colleagues who have been ‘prevented’ from taking leave, and those who have chosen not to take leave. The exceptional carry over provision will only apply to those who have been ‘prevented’ from taking leave. Colleagues, such as those that have been shielding for health reasons and/or working flexible, term time or annualised hours, are unlikely to meet the exceptional carry over criteria unless their line manager has prevented them from taking periods of annual leave. In cases where colleagues have been absent due to long term sickness, normal statutory leave carry over provisions will apply in these cases. The HR team are able to advise in such circumstances.
6. What records should be kept by line managers / Care Groups?
As in previous years, to help support the financial planning process Service Lines/Departments will be asked to complete a finance return during January of the expected annual leave to be carried forward by their staff at the year end. This will then be refreshed at the end of the year.
The Service Line template should be used as a record of approvals and submitted to the Care Group Manager/Care Group Director/ Corporate Director for approval and then made available to the finance team for financial planning purposes.
7. How do I easily see, in healthroster, the percentage of leave that staff have taken over the annual leave year?
You can see the % used on the Unavailability Entitlement Report which can be accessed each quarter should the line manager want to, this report is exportable also.
Employees can also view the Qtr % breakdown on their own Employee Online accounts. You can also run the Unavailability Breakdown by person report for a specific date range too, per Qtr for example. Linked is an anonymised example of the report.
Support available to UHP colleagues
We recognise this is an anxious time for colleagues and have created a support hub detailing the range of measures available to support colleagues, including those experiencing emotional distress.