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Covid-19 test and trace

Self-isolation for health workers

From 19th July 2021, frontline NHS staff who have been informed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate, may not be required to complete the 10 day self-isolation period. Team members may be able to return to practice following a negative PCR test, in exceptional circumstances where their absence may lead to a potential risk of patient harm. Team members must also complete daily Lateral Flow Tests for a minimum of 7 days and report the test results to Test and Trace online and a nominated individual within the practice.

During this period of time, if symptoms develop or a positive Lateral Flow test result is received, they should self-isolate immediately and arrange a PCR test.

This option may be available to team members who have been informed by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate due to being in close contact with an individual who has tested positive for Covid-19. Cases where the contact was a member of the team member’s household should not be eligible for this process. Team members will also need to be fully vaccinated, with 14 days having elapsed since their second vaccine.

A risk assessment will need to be completed by the practice management team. All relevant infection control precautions should be in place, PPE must be worn and social distancing measures in place when not undertaking clinical work. Careful consideration should be given to the risk of onward transmission of the virus compared to the risk to delivery of critical services. The risk assessment process should involve the local commissioner and local Director of Public Health.

Further information is available on the NHS letter dated 19th July 2021. For additional government guidance, please see here and here.