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Due to the evolving nature of guidance, please note that information is correct at the time of each bulletin.

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Bulletin 144 (15-07-21)



Useful links for staff:


Preparing for a possible new wave – message from Mark Hamilton, Medical Director

One of the things we heard you say after the first and second waves of COVID, is that we need to share our planning work with staff earlier. We are endeavouring to do that, recognising that although we have modelling and predictions, the situation is dynamic and our response has to be the same, to a degree.


I want to reassure you that planning is well underway for stepping up our response to increasing COVID. Our Clinical Advisory Group (CAG) met yesterday and this is what we discussed:


The numbers of COVID cases in our local Plymouth community is currently 423.5 per 100,000 people: this is above both the regional and national average (333.7) and rising daily. Plymouth’s 60+ cohort is also increasing, with a rate per 100k of 85.8 (+4.6).


Attendances to our Emergency Department COVID area (Plym) are increasing – 85 attendances in last 7 days, compared to 66 the week prior. In the hospital, we have 15 positive inpatients, of which three are in our Intensive Care Unit.  Many of our inpatients are currently younger with fewer comorbidities and their length of stay is shorter but a small number still need support in intensive care.


The modelling data shows that we could be facing a third wave which peaks at the end of August/early September with 60-70 of UHP beds occupied with COVID positive patients. Total cases are expected to be around twice the size of the 1st wave. The duration of the wave could last until October. At the moment, these are only predictions and there is a big margin for error so we have to keep our decision-making dynamic.


Third wave forecast



This is our current pathway and the next steps to opening up more COVID capacity:



COVID Emergency Department (Plym)

Meavy (amber) for patients with suspected COVID or  those who have been in contact with positive cases: please note these two types of patients are cared for separately.

Crownhill (red for confirmed cases of COVID)

Next red ward: Clearbrook

ICU capacity – next step is emptying the link between Pencarrow and Penrose which would give us up to eight additional beds for COVID positive patients


We will be continuing with all of our current restrictions in the hospital including hand sanitising, wearing of masks, observing social distancing and our Rule of 1 visiting. We will be communicating this publicly. Nothing will change post 19 July. We are asking people:


  • If you have a hospital or clinic appointment, please attend alone unless exceptional circumstances apply. This helps us reduce footfall and protect our most vulnerable patients.
  • Please respect our Rule of 1 for visiting: 1 visitor for 1 hour per 1 patient per day
  • You must wear a mask in our hospitals, clinics and building unless you are exempt
  • Please continue to wash your hands regularly and observe social distancing

Thank you for wearing your mask to protect me - Graphic


My advice to colleagues is to please continue to follow all of the infection control measures. We know our vaccination programme has been highly effective, but please don’t think that because we are double vaccinated we are immune to COVID. For our patients and fellow staff we ask you to remain vigilant. Please continue to follow all of the infection control measures plus:


  • Test and Trace: If you are told by Test and Trace to isolate, you must do so. Please note having a negative PCR test does not overrule this.
  • Pinged by the Test and trace app? Contact the Centralised Absence Reporting (CAR) Line as soon as possible. Staff are trained to advise you on your risk and next steps. The CAR Line remains open on 01752 430000 and is staffed from 6am to 8pm. If calling outside of these hours, please leave a message on the answering service.
  • Lateral flow testing (LFT): All staff – clinical and non-clinical please continue to test yourselves twice a week. This is a very quick way for us to understand any prevalence of the virus among our staff and any asymptomatic cases.  Testing kits are available via the Risk and Incident Office, Level 7, Derriford Hospital – from Cashier’s, go past Patient Services and follow LFT signs.
  • Positive LFT:  If your LFT test result is positive, self-isolate along with your household and 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.
  • Negative LFT but feeling unwell? Please note, if you have had a negative LFT result but you have any symptoms of COVID, you must please take a PCR test. An LFT test is fine for routine testing of people without symptoms. Anyone with symptoms must take a PCR test. Thank you.


Thank you




Mark Hamilton, Medical Director


Review of Staff Covid Risk Assessments

As the prevalence of covid is increasing in the community, it is important for line managers to review and where necessary, update covid risk assessments for colleagues who have been particularly vulnerable and have, for example, shielded or changed how and where they work. Please note that the vaccine does not give complete protection and many of those most vulnerable, may still be at increased risk.  The Trust’s Covid Risk Assessment tool and the linked ALAMA risk assessment provides guidance on how to review risk assessments in the light of changing prevalence and can be located here via this link.


New Track and Trace risk assessment- Urgent Update

We have cohesively agreed a risk assessment for staff who have an unknown contact and have been contacted by the test and trace app and told to isolate.


If you have any staff in this category, please get them to call the absence hub at their earliest convenience. The team are trained to take colleagues through the assessment and bring all staff back into work when it is safe to do so.


Sue Wilkins

Director of Mass Vaccination, Flu and Testing


Resources for Continued COVID Measures

The Communications Team will be focussing on updating external signage today to reflect the ongoing expectations of staff, patients and visitors after 19 July.


Printable resources will be made available for departments to utilise via StaffNET tomorrow morning.


If you require any specific variations on this design, please contact with details.


Hospital Update

Confirmed Hospital Cases:  Number of active cases at 07:30 today was 15 (no change) - three (no change) of which in ICU and two in step down.  There were three newly diagnosed inpatients yesterday, and our rolling seven-day average is currently 3.0 (-0.1):

Hospital cases graph


Plymouth Rate per 100,000 population (7 day rolling average):  Latest total Plymouth rate (as at 10/7) is 459.6 (+36.1) and the 60+ rate is 92.1 (+6.3).  The former continues to rise sharply, and our 60+ cohort is also on the rise:

Plymouth Rate graph



Updated Hospital Map

UHPNT Escalation plan[pdf] 139KB


Social distancing resources - posters (link to Staffnet)


Trust policy and Guidance

Guidelines for the Management of Coronavirus Infectious Diseases v1.9 

COVID Management - Zone RAG Categories

COVID Pathways - 26.11.2020.pdf[pdf] 351KB

Covid Swab Testing Turnaround Limitations 

Learning Disability guidance v2 09.04.2020 

Learning disability passport v1 06.04.2020 

Management of healthcare worker exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace 11.11.2020 

Mask Fit Check

Patient Passport v1 - 04.12.2020

Removal of PPE - COVID Red Zone v1 24.03.2020

Resus - Amber area 01.04.2020

Resus - Red area 01.04.2020

SOP COVID-19 Testing Protocol [pdf] 530KB

Summary of local procedures for management of suspected and confirmed cases of Coronavirus Infectious Disease 2019 (COVID-19)[pdf] 1MB

Trustwide COVID-19 Patient Screening Assessment.pdf [pdf] 395KB Updated 11.01.2021

Ward Based Respiratory Care for COVID QA 10.06.2020 

Working from Home Guidance 08.10.202


National guidance

NHSE all speciality guides


De-escalation and patient discharge

COVID-19 De-escalation Algorithm - v 5 15.04.2020

Discharge of patient policy SARS-CoV-2 UHP v2 26.03.2020

Nurse assessment v3 21.04.2020

Post Covid discharge phone call flow chart v3 21.04.2020 


COVID vaccine information

Leaflet for healthcare workers 10.12.2020 

Multiple Staff Booking Request Template 

Management of Covid-19 vaccination clinical incidents Briefing [docx] 16KB

VITT Haematologist Proforma - June 2021 [pdf] 416KB

VITT Clinical Diagnostic & Initial Management Flow Chart - June 2021 [pdf] 425KB


Nightingale Hospital Exeter

The benefits of joining Team Nightingale 

Nightingale Hospital Exeter FAQ for managers and workforce leads

Nightingale Hospital Exeter FAQ for all staff

Nightingale Hospital Exeter - Secondment Registration Form

Testimonials from staff 


Staff Information

CEV Booking Request Template.xlsx[xlsx] 11KB

Change to shielding advice - Guidance for colleagues 24.03.21 [docx]

Change to sheilding advice - Guidance for managers 24.03.21 [docx]

COVID-19 Patient QA 

COVID-19 Secure Office Checklist v3 16.06.2020 

COVID-19 Staff assessment form

COVID-19 Team Risk Assessment v2 05.02.2021

Critical Worker letter 06.01.2021

Domestic abuse contacts for clinicans

Enquiry Email - Portacount Face Mask Testing updated 24.09.2020

Exposure to COVID19 in the workplace 26.06.2020 

FAQ Face Masks for Staff 24.08.2020 

How to put your surgical mask on 15.06.2020

Lateral Flow Testing FAQ

Lateral Flow Test Leaflet

Letter to all staff about Surgical Masks 11.06.2020 

Management Briefing Note - Coronavirus Risk Assessments

Mandatory Training Update Oct 2020 

NHS England Improvement Stakeholder Briefing 09.11.2020

NHS Test and Trace – process for UHP staff 10.06.2020

Risk Assessment Managers Briefing 25.11.2020 

Staff track and trace website (only accesible from Trust devices)

Supporting Long Covid June 2021.docx [docx] 61KB

UHP Working from home guidance 08.06.2020 

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