Coronavirus guidance for staff

If you work for 2gether Support Solutions, please refer to the latest guidance on the 2gether COVID-19 intranet page.


About COVID-19

Read our  two-page information sheet for clinicians - last updated 11 April 2020

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least one of these symptoms.

Advice announced by the Government on 16 March is that if you have any symptoms you should stay at home for 7 days. If you live with other people, they should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms. If someone you live with gets symptoms, you should stay at home for 14 days.

  • Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
  • You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're staying at home.
  • You do not need to contact Occupational Health before you self isolate.

Find out more on the NHS webpage including what to do if your condition gets worse or your symptoms do not get better after seven days.

Guidance for NHS staff on returning to work, isolation and testing is on our FAQs page

Health Education England has also developed a webpage for all trainee doctors to access regarding their queries/FAQs during the period of COVID-19.  

Not all healthcare workers need to be tested for COVID-19 prior to returning to work but we are now able to test key staff working in front-line areas so they can return sooner.

How people who may have Coronavirus are being treated 

All hospital clinical services have been split into two streams, following national guidelines. The Blue stream is for respiratory potential and confirmed COVID-19 patients and the Red stream is for all other patients.

Please remember to use PPE equipment appropriately, adopting excellent doffing techniques in particular, in association with scrupulous decontamination and hand washing.  Please see the PPE page for advice

The Infection Prevention and Control page has been updated with guidance for staff on the Coronavirus.

During the COVID-19 outbreak the Infection Prevention and Control team will be concentrating on visibility to advise and support staff. Please download details about the team structure and other useful information on admin triaging all calls and more.  

See the full guidance for clinically managing patients

Am I at risk? 

If you work in the hospitals, the patient isolation procedures mean your risk is no higher than anyone else’s as long as you follow the infection prevention and control guidance.

For most staff, this simply means taking extra hand hygiene procedures and following the Government advice.

NHS England advises:

  • Healthcare workers should wear the appropriate personal protective equipment 
  • Healthcare workers who come into contact with a COVID-19 patient whilst not wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) can remain at work. If they display any symptoms of lower or upper-respiratory tract infection they must immediately stay at home for 7 days and contact their line manger about being considered for testing.

How to help

The best way every member of staff can help society contain Coronavirus is to have good hand hygiene.

We are also asking staff to help in different ways, depending on your role and experience. 

Communicating with patients and visitors

Information for patients about the hospitals' response is available on the home page of the Trust's website at www.ekhuft.nhs.uk   

We are asking people who have symptoms to stay away from the hospital.You can download a poster for your area

In line with national guidelines, all visiting is suspended until further notice. The only exceptional circumstances where one visitor – an immediate family member or carer – will be permitted to visit are:

• End-of-life care - see further guidance

• A birthing partner accompanying a woman in labour

• A parent or appropriate adult visiting their child.

You can download and print a letter for patients and visitors about these arrangements


Useful links

  • The NHS website has advice and guidance for all of us, patients and members of the public
  • The UK Government website has up to date information and advice for anyone travelling overseas or returning from travel overseas.

We update these web pages regularly. We also email all staff with an update daily.