Healthcare workers and carers

Coronavirus guidance for clinicians and NHS managers

NHS to benefit from £13.4 billion debt write-off. Health Secretary announces over £13 billion of debt will be written off as part of a major financial reset for NHS providers.

  • More than a hundred NHS hospitals to be rid of historic debt, freeing them up to invest in maintaining vital services and longer-term infrastructure improvements
  • Comes alongside new NHS funding model to make sure the NHS has the necessary funding and support to respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

From April 1, over £13 billion of NHS debt will be scrapped as part of a wider package of NHS reforms announced by the Health Secretary today.

The changes will provide much needed financial support during this unprecedented viral pandemic, as well as laying secure foundations for the longer-term commitments set out last year to support the NHS to become more financially sustainable.

This is part of a package of major reforms to the NHS financial system, designed in a collaboration between the Department of Health and Social Care and NHS England, which will begin from the start of the new financial year.

This package is launched in combination with a simpler internal payment system to help NHS trusts in dealing with the coronavirus (COVID-19) response, which was agreed with NHS England last week.

This significant change will mean hospitals will get all the necessary funding to carry out their emergency response, despite many hospitals cancelling or limiting their usual services such as elective surgery or walk-in clinics due to the virus.

NHS guidance for people working in healthcare.

Parking passes for healthcare workers and volunteers

This pass provides evidence of entitlement to free parking for those on duty as an NHS staff member, health or social care worker, or NHS Volunteer Responder. This is to enable them to access parking concessions in local authority-owned off-street car parks and on-street bays during the COVID-19 emergency response period.

The pass does not replace any existing permit that has been issued by a local authority for COVID-19 parking concessions, which you should continue to use. You can also continue to use any other evidence of entitlement to these parking concessions that has previously been accepted by your local authority.

Everyone who is entitled to COVID-19 parking concessions, as well as local authority parking enforcement, should read the following general guidance here.

Guidance on using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)

Those most at risk within the UK are professionals working in health and social care sectors. This because these sectors are responsible for providing essential treatment and care for those who are confirmed to have COVID-19, are symptomatic or are highly vulnerable. They are in prolonged close contact with individuals who are symptomatic or particularly vulnerable to infection.

The UK government and devolved administrations published clear guidance on appropriate PPE for health and social care workers. This has been written and reviewed by all 4 UK public health bodies and informed by NHS infection prevention control experts. Our guidance is consistent with World Health Organization (WHO) guidance for protecting health and social care workers from COVID-19.

View the government’s UK-wide personal protective equipment plan.

COVID-19: guidance for residential care, supported living and home care

Guidance for providers of residential care, supported living, and home care, in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

The guidance sets out:

  • how to maintain delivery of care in the event of an outbreak or widespread transmission of COVID-19
  • what to do if care workers or individuals being cared for have symptoms of COVID-19

How to protect people in residential care, supported living and home care

COVID-19: ethical framework for adult social care

Guidance on ethical considerations for local authorities and adult social care professionals planning their response to COVID-19. This guidance may be reviewed and updated as the outbreak develops and subsequent guidance may be issued to support its application.

How to manage adult social care

Guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

This guidance is for people, including children, who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) because of an underlying health condition, and for their family, friends and carers. It is intended for use in situations where the extremely vulnerable person is living in their own home, with or without additional support. This includes the extremely clinically vulnerable people living in long-term care facilities, either for the elderly or persons with special needs.

Shielding is a measure to protect people who are clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between those who are extremely vulnerable and others. We are strongly advising people with serious underlying health conditions (listed below), which put them at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19), to rigorously follow shielding measures in order to keep themselves safe.

How to protect extremely vulnerable people (shielding)

Non-health and social care settings

For other workers and sectors, based on current evidence, there is very little scientific evidence of widespread benefit from PPE. Instead, practising good hand hygiene and social distancing is key to minimising the risk of infection. We emphasise and reassure employers that for the majority the most effective way they can ensure that their employees are safe at work is to:

  • where possible, alter business-as-usual ways of working to ensure social distancing can take place. In some circumstances this could involve the erection of physical ‘splash barriers’ to decrease staff anxiety, or redesign of customer flows to minimise contact opportunities
  • ensure staff are aware and signs are visible in the workplace reminding employees and customers not to enter the premises if they have COVID-19 symptoms such as a high temperature or persistent cough (or a member of their household displays symptoms) and to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands
  • that employees are provided with regular breaks to allow them to wash their hands for 20 seconds. Break areas and break times should also be set up to allow for social distancing to occur to minimise contact during these times
  • COVID-19: guidance for care of the deceased
  • COVID-19: guidance for first responders