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Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

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.

Patients and visitors must wear a face covering in our hospitals.

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COVID-19 Staff FAQs: Miscellaneous

Information alert box Last updated: 29 October 2020

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.

Miscellaneous FAQs

How can I wash my uniform safely at home?

When washing your uniform (or clothes which you have worn in the clinical environment if you are a member of staff who doesn't wear a uniform) at home, you should:

take your washing home in a washbag or plastic bag

wash your uniform separately from other household linen

empty the bag you've put your uniform in and put the clothes straight in the drum (please do not use alginate bags as they can damage your machine - this is updated guidance from NHS England)

wash your hands after handling the laundry

ensure the load is no more than half the washing machine capacity

wash at the maximum temperature the fabric can tolerate, then iron or tumble-dry

You can clean your machine once a week with a mild bleach solution on a hot wash.

Why is there no hand sanitiser when entering a building?

Hand sanitiser use is being prioritised, and is being restricted to clinical areas. Hands should be cleaned before entering and leaving clinical areas. The Infection Prevention and Control Team will review this as the situation progresses.

Is there a contact number / email address that University employees with OUH honorary contracts already in place can contact to offer their services during this emergency period?

Yes - please see the forms below. If there are problems registering, email laura.bick@ouh.nhs.uk

Call for qualified medical staff
Call for medical students
Call for AHPs
Call for nursing staff

There are many researchers who are 'working from home' but have honorary contracts in place allowing them to have patient interaction.

What are the minimum mandatory training requirements for new starters and for people being redeployed during the COVID-19 crisis?

New starters joining OUH are receiving a new welcome pack in place of the face to face corporate induction. This includes what mandatory training requirements they should complete and how to do this through our electronic learning management system (e-LMS).

We advise new starters to discuss with their line manager if there are specific subjects they should complete first to ensure the safety of them self, their team and our patients.

To summarise, the minimum mandatory training requirements that new starters / our people being redeployed should complete within the workplace are:

Fire Safety Checklist - in conjunction with their line manager (all new starters / redeployments)

Infection Prevention and Control - online via e-LMS (all new starters / redeployments)

Moving and Handling - a two- hour face to face essentials information session (clinical new starters / redeployments)

Resuscitation - theory online via ELMS and targeted face to face training (relevant clinical staff)

In addition, the following role specific training requirements are essential:

Personal and Protective Equipment (PPE) training - face to face sessions (relevant frontline staff)

Back to the ward - face to face sessions (relevant frontline staff being / likely to be redeployed)

Why are the doors around the hospital not being wedged open as they can be a path of transmission?

We do understand this concern, however we have to remember that there is still a risk of fire. These are fire doors that need to be kept closed to keep everyone safe.

Good hand hygiene and high touch areas being cleaned with Clinell wipes will also help reduce this risk.

I am a staff member working in the community and am concerned that a patient I have seen needs support. How do I access the army of NHS volunteers I’ve seen advertised on the news?

OUH Voluntary Services do not have access to these volunteers - please use the Royal Voluntary Services website:

NHS Volunteer Responders - Referrals

I have been contacted regarding a non-PPE donation. Whom should I contact?

For non-PPE donations you should contact Oxford Hospitals Charity who are kindly co-ordinating offers of food, toiletries etc. at:

Email: ouh.charitysupport@ouh.nhs.uk

Our team frequently handles keys and other items returned to us by clinical staff. How can we reduce the risk of transmission?

Staff should wash their hands after dealing with items from clinical staff.

If I'm stopped by the Police and asked to prove that I'm a key worker, what can I use?

We have received information from Thames Valley Police to say that your ID badge will be sufficient proof of NHS employment should you be stopped by an officer.

There is no expectation that NHS staff should provide letters to the Police as identification.

Does asymptomatic COVID infection give similar immunity to those who have symptomatic infection?

Data from our staff testing cohort show that SARS-CoV-2 anti-nucleocapsid antibodies wane within months, and faster in younger adults and those without symptoms. However, anti-spike IgG remains stably detected.

Ongoing longitudinal studies are required to track the long-term duration of antibody levels and their association with immunity to SARS-CoV-2 reinfection (1).

However we have also shown in our staff testing that the presence of positive anti-spike or anti-nucleocapsid IgG antibodies was associated with a substantially reduced risk of SARS-CoV-2 reinfection in the ensuing 6 months - these data come from staff with a mix of symptomatic and asymptomatic infection (2).

(1) Lumley et al, The duration, dynamics and determinants of SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses in individual healthcare workers, The duration, dynamics and determinants of SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses in individual healthcare workers. Clin Infect Dis. 2021 Jan 6:ciab004. doi: 10.1093/cid/ciab004. Online ahead of print.

(2) Lumley et al, Antibody Status and Incidence of SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Health Care Workers, N Engl J Med. 2020 Dec 23:NEJMoa2034545. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa2034545. Online ahead of print.

Who can apply for temporary accommodation?

Accommodation is reserved for staff required to work on site. Where staff can, or are required to, work from home, they will not be eligible for accommodation offered by the Trust (unless there are exceptional circumstances).

Accommodation will be available for those staff who need to move out of their home urgently due to one or more of the following.

  • The need to protect other members of the household who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
  • Commute to work includes multiple changes on public transport and Occupational Health have advised through a risk assessment to avoid this.
  • Travel to work arrangements are severely disrupted, creating significant delays/inability to travel.
  • Working pattern has changed due to COVID-19, impacting on normal accommodation, travel or carer responsibilities.
  • Those in a household who have a housemate returning from a designated country that results in them having to isolate for 10 days - this is in accordance with current Government guidelines.

The criteria will apply to all substantive and temporary staff and are not designed to be rigid, rather a set of guiding principles to manage the supply of accommodation in a fair and equitable manner.

Accommodation is provided for 14 days in the first instance, which can be reviewed where appropriate.

Temporary accommodation contact details: accommodation.bureau@ouh.nhs.uk
Monday to Friday 10.00am - 2.00pm excluding Bank Holidays