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Alert Coronavirus / COVID-19

If you have a new continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss or change to your sense of taste or smell, do not come to our hospitals. Follow the national advice on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Please find information on our services and visiting restrictions in our COVID-19 section.

Please see our latest guidance on face masks.

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COVID-19 Staff FAQs: Working at home

Information alert box Last updated: 10 May 2021

This is a fast moving situation and we will try to keep this page as up-to-date as possible.
Please continue to check national guidance on the COVID-19 pandemic.

If your question is not answered below, and you are a member of staff, please speak to your line manager or email covidquestions@ouh.nhs.uk

If your question is about an OUH HR matter that isn't addressed here, please discuss this initially with your line manager who can then raise it with the HR consultant for your Division.

Some links are to documents on the OUH internal staff intranet: if you are a staff member and cannot access the intranet, please email covidquestions@ouh.nhs.uk and we will send you the document you need.

Please remember guidance is likely to change rapidly, so check back to see if you have the most up-to-date version of a document.

Working at home FAQs

Can I access my files and the staff intranet without VPN?

All staff with an OUH email address and computer login can access the Trust intranet from home on their PC or tablet via a virtual desktop.

You will need to download some software to access this which is available for Windows, MacOS and iOS devices, including iPads, and Android devices. Please contact OUH IM&T Service Desk for details.

What are the rules about working from home?

You need formal approval from your line manager to work at home and this approval may be reviewed over time, depending on how things change.

An Interim Home Working Policy to support staff who may need to work remotely during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) health emergency has been approved by the Trust Management Executive (TME).

The Interim Home Working Policy and related documents can be found in the Human Resources Document Library on the staff intranet.

Please do refer to the Policy when having conversations about working at home. Both line managers and individual members of staff will find this useful.

When deciding if working at home is appropriate, managers should consider a range of factors which are outlined in the policy.

How do I ensure cybersecurity if working from home?

Sophos Home Premium Security. Sophos is one of the Trust's key cybersecurity providers. In order to express their gratitude to everyone working at OUH, Sophos has kindly made their Sophos Home Premium Security anti-virus software available free of charge to all OUH employees until February 2025.

It can be installed on 10 different personal devices. For more details please see the guide at the link below.

How to Access Sophos Home Premium (pdf, 2.8 MB)

Where can I find advice about the practical side of working from home?

Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)

What is Multi Factor Authentication (MFA)?

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a process where a user is prompted, during sign-in, for an additional form of identification above their normal username and password.

It adds another layer of security to your online accounts by verifying your identity using this additional factor and helps prevent anyone but you from logging in, even if your password is compromised. 

At Oxford University Hospitals we recommend using Microsoft's Azure AD Multifactor Authentication (MFA) facility supported by Microsoft's Authenticator app for account MFA.

You can learn more about MFA by watching this video:

Making accounts more secure with multi-factor authentication - Microsoft Security YouTube

What do I need to do to be ready for MFA?

Most staff should already have been asked to set up MFA as part of their account creation process. You should check your details are still correct by visiting this web address.

We recommend using Microsoft Authenticator as your primary MFA method. If you haven't already, you should follow these steps to set up MFA using the Authenticator App (pdf, 271 KB).

If you do not have a smartphone you cannot use Microsoft Authenticator, but you can still set up MFA by using the following guide: Setting up MFA without a smartphone (pdf, 173 KB).

We also recommend you set up a secondary authentication method which can include a code sent by SMS to your phone or a phone call. The phone 'Call Me' feature is not recommended as the primary method of MFA as it requires a phone signal and is more time limited.

I have already set up MFA on my OUH account. What do I do next?

If you already use MFA, or have downloaded the MS Authenticator and recorded your authentication device(s) on your OUH account, then you don't need to do anything else.

It is useful, however, to set up a secondary MFA method such as code sent by SMS to your phone or a phone call.

To set up another authentication method simply visit this web address and follow the on-screen instructions. Remember to keep your authentication methods up to date (e.g. if you get a new phone) and make sure you can access your device whenever you may need to sign into our systems.

What if I have received an authentication request on my phone, but I am not logging into anything? 

Do not approve the request if you did not initiate it.

You should select 'deny' the request. If you are using the app, you may have to open the app in full in order to select this.

Please report any suspicious activity on your account to the IM&T Service Desk:

Tel: 01865 222822
Email: imandtservicedesk@ouh.nhs.uk