Given the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the potential impact on healthcare placements, we want to support the safety and ongoing learning in practice placement environments of all our healthcare students. Your safety – and that of your patients – is the Faculty’s priority.
All healthcare students should familiarise themselves with their local policies on emergency planning, infection prevention and control and other relevant guidance, in addition to any national guidance issued by the Department of Health and Social Care and the relevant UK Public Health agencies [see below for links].
We understand that the ongoing pandemic may cause worry and anxiety about your placement, and concern about how it may affect your learning on your programme. If you have any immediate concerns about how COVID-19 may impact your learning that are not addressed in the FAQs below, please contact your Personal Supervsior or programme/year lead.
Where can I get the latest information on the current situation in the UK and information about the virus and its symptoms?
The University of Hull has dedicated web pages that offer advice and guidance to staff and students. This is updated regularly in response to any developments in the outbreak and/or changes in guidance. Please monitor your University email regularly for updates.
Department of Health and Social Care & Public Health England (PHE): Coronavirus: latest information and advice. This page includes the current situation in the UK and actions taken in the UK and abroad.
Department of Health & PHE Self-Isolation Guidance issued 12th August 2021. Please refer to the latest guidance on self-isolation and return to work following a Covid-19 contact. There may be additional mitigations put in place by employers in different settings for fully vaccinated staff who are identified as a contact. Refer to organisational guidance as necessary.
Frequently asked questions:
What should I do if I think I have contracted coronavirus, or have been in close contact with someone with coronavirus outside of the clinical environment?
NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and advise you what to do.
NHS guidance is to not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call 111 if you need to speak to someone.
Stay at home guidance
Government information states that people with coronavirus symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus are to self-isolate for at least 10 days. You can read the Government’s Stay at home guidance here.
In this instance you should:
- follow the usual sickness reporting mechanisms for healthcare students.
- stay at home – do not go to placement or University
- not use public transport or taxis
- ask friends, family members or delivery services to do errands for you
- try to avoid visitors to your home – it's okay for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food
For the latest Covid-19 travel guidance please visit the Government Foreign Travel Advice website. The Government has also issued giudance on what you need to do if you travel to and from England during Covid 19. This guidance can be accessed from this Government website.
What happens if I miss theory and/or practice hours due to self-isolation or illness?
If you are tested positive for the virus you must report this to the university through the coronavirus self-reporting tool. If you need to self-isolate and take time away from your studies or placement please also inform the student hub via the Student Information Desk (SID) or on 01482 463342. You will then be offered individual support and advice around occupational health, and academic and practice learning support, as necessary. If you are tested for or test positive for the virus, please ensure that you are following healthcare advice (including the need to self-isolate) and contact the student hub and your Personal Supervisor immediately.
In both instances, individualised support to help you achieve programme requirements will be offered.
Reporting absence from placement procedure
If you need to report as absent whilst on placement, please notify your placement area in advance of their shift starting. You must also notify the Faculty Student Hub via SID or alternatively via telephone on 01482 463342 as soon as possible (before 12.00 noon on the first day of absence).
What if I miss too many practice hours due to self-isolation? Will the NMC still allow us to register if we do not meet the required practice hours?
We are aware that one of the issues that will cause greatest anxiety, particularly among final year students, is how the COVID-19 outbreak may impact on your ability to undertake the required practice hours. As the number of required hours is a legal requirement for registration, it is highly unlikely the NMC or HCPC will change their rules on this. However, please be reassured that the Faculty will work with you to help you achieve the necessary practice hours. If you find yourself with a practice hours deficit, your Personal Supervisor will support you on an individual basis to achieve the requirements.
What if I am in a vulnerable group?
There will also be some of you who are pregnant or have underlying health conditions which may require additional precautions or advice. If you consider yourself vulnerable please contact your personal supervisor to discuss any support you may need.
The Faculty has a responsibility for managing students' health and wellbeing in relation to placement learning and operates a screening process for students to identify any placement risks associated with Covid-19 and their underlying health status. This may result in an Occupational Health referral or advice about managing risk while on placement.
Adapted from a document produced by the Department of Health Sciences, University of York – many thanks to them for providing us with permission to use and amend it. Last update 15/03/21