NHS: Coronavirus

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 2nd April 2020.

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Photo of Matt Western Matt Western Opposition Whip (Commons)

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what he is taking to protect front-line NHS staff who are (a) categorised as vulnerable and (b) over 70 years old during the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Helen Whately Helen Whately Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

Holding answer received on 24 March 2020

Preserving and protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of staff and keeping them well is critical for the National Health Service as we respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Advice from the Government confirmed that the groups of people who should take particular care to minimise their social contact were:

- People over the age of 70 and other adults who would normally be advised to have a flu vaccine (such as those with chronic disease); and

- Pregnant women.

For staff members in this category, the NHS will support staff to stay well and at work. NHS organisations should make adjustments to enable this wherever possible. Adjustments may include working remotely or moving to a lower risk area. Line managers should get support from the locally nominated EPRR (Emergency Preparedness Resilience and Response) lead, or for example, Medical/Nursing director or Chief Operating Officer to make this happen. NHS organisations are encouraged to make it clear who the point of contact is in this regard.

Our people are the most important consideration as they respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In these unprecedented times, our people more than ever will be making every effort to care for patients and the population, and we must equal that with the care we provide to them.

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