• You must wear a surgical face mask at all times.

  • Communal spaces start at the entrance to any of our buildings.

  • Communal spaces are all 'off-ward' areas and include:

    • Entrance halls

    • Reception areas

    • Corridors

    • Photocopying rooms

    • Kitchens and kitchenettes

    • Bathrooms and toilets

    • Restaurants

  • If you are sharing an office with one or more person, in addition to maintaining social distancing, you must wear a surgical face mask at all times, this includes while sitting at your desk.

  • When you leave the office space you must wear a surgical face mask.

  • If you are in an individual office or working alone in a shared office, you do not need to wear a surgical face mask.

  • If someone else enters the office, you must wear a surgical face mask.

  • When you leave the office you must wear a surgical face mask.

  • You must wear a surgical face mask at all times.

  • These are single-use items, so you must 'put on' (don) and 'take off' (doff) each time you enter and leave a clinical space.

  • When you leave the clinical space, you must wear a new surgical face mask as you will most likely be entering a communal area.

  • You must continue to wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) provided to you.

In addition to wearing a surgical face mask, you must continue to wash your hands regularly, follow increased infection prevention control hygiene measures and maintain social distancing. Together, these will give you the best protection possible to keep you and our patients safe.

If you are following this guidance, you must switch off the contact tracing on your NHS Covid-19 Test and Trace app whenever you are in work.

We know it's going to be difficult for those in shared offices to wear a surgical face mask all day, including at your desk and when on calls and virtual meetings, but please remember you should be working from home if possible, which will reduce the number of occasions people will need to work in shared offices.

It is absolutely essential all staff follow our new workplace guidance at all times, without exception.

We have seen some instances of groups of staff within the same team needing to self-isolate because they weren't wearing PPE or social distancing and one member of the team tested positive.

At a time when services are facing additional challenges to respond to the second wave of the pandemic, and as we head towards winter, we cannot afford to lose groups of staff for 14 days as a result of failing to follow our guidance.

For this reason, if you are required to self-isolate as a result of failing to follow our workplace guidance, we reserve the right to ask you to take paid or unpaid leave for the duration of your self-isolation.

If you see anyone who is not adhering to our requirements, please don't be afraid to 'call it out'. Have a conversation with the person to make sure they know what they should be doing. This is about protecting everyone and it's important we are all comfortable with alerting people who may be putting others at risk.

standard operating procedure has been developed with full details to support you to follow this guidance. Some key points are summarised below.

Surgical face masks will be provided by the Trust. These are available now from your nearest PPE hub.

All teams should make sure there is always a supply in their work area – this is now part of the workplace assessment all line managers are responsible for completing.

There will also be supplies of surgical masks at the main entrances to all our buildings.

To prevent the risk of contamination, it is important you change your surgical face mask regularly as follows. This applies to both clinical and non-clinical staff.

  • When you remove it

  • If you have exposed your nose or mouth, eg pulling the mask under your chin

  • When it is damaged, damp or wet

  • After a maximum of four hours' use

  • When leaving or entering a clinical area

Non-clinical staff should dispose of used masks in a black bin. Additional bins are in place at main entrances and exits for all our buildings.

Clinical staff should continue to dispose of used masks in the same way you currently do, depending on which setting you work in.

Please remember, surgical face masks pose a patient safety risk and can be used to self-harm or ligature. Therefore, it is vital masks are disposed of correctly and are not dropped in the grounds on our sites.

This visual shows the correct way to dispose of surgical face masks in different scenarios.

All managers must revisit our workplace guidance and complete regular workplace assessments to make sure workspaces remain Covid-safe. This includes displaying a workplace assessment poster to demonstrate compliance.

Full details, assessment template and compliance poster.

Revised workplace guidance posters will soon be available to replace those already on display.

These frequently asked questions provide further details about these arrangements.

Thank you for helping us prevent the spread of Covid-19 and keep staff and patients safe.