From our mental health to our physical health, this page on our internet site (accessible anywhere, on any device) will be the central space used to update all things wellbeing. Food, accommodation, car parking, rest facilities and more. This site will be updated frequently with the latest information and offers.
Social distancing measures, where possible, are a critical part of maintaining infection prevention and control for Covid-19 in clinical and non-clinical areas. However, where it isn’t always possible to maintain social distancing, public health advice is that wearing a face covering is an appropriate precautionary measure.
From Monday, 15 June, in all settings that are not robustly COVID-19 secure, all hospital staff (both in clinical and non-clinical roles), when not otherwise required to use PPE precautions, should wear a facemask; worn to prevent the spread of infection from the wearer.
The extended use of facemasks does not remove the need for other key measures to reduce the risk of transmission Covid-19, including social/physical distancing, optimal hand hygiene, frequent surface decontamination, ventilation and other measures where appropriate.
Not everyone will need to wear a mask all the time.
Covid-secure areas are those where:
If your area cannot meet these standards, then you will need to wear a face mask.
Covid-secure offices and rest rooms must display their risk assessment on the door. If there is no Covid-secure risk assessment, a mask must be worn.
There is no change to PPE in clinical areas.
Face masks will be available for staff from all entrance points – be prepared to queue 2m apart if it is busy. If you need a supply of masks for your area, these can be collected from the Central PPE Store – call ext 8085 to arrange a collection time.
Used masks must be disposed of in clinical waste bins only.
We have already risk assessed the following communal areas as Covid-secure and where masks will not need to be worn, provided everyone sticks rigidly to social distancing rules.
Masks will need to be worn in corridors and stairwells in settings that cannot be risk assessed as robustly Covid-secure, such as main hospital buildings.
Depending on your working environment and how often you need to move around the hospital, you may need to use more than one mask each day.
To help us to further reduce the risk of passing the virus between one another, we have already started to routinely test asymptomatic colleagues. This will help us get an idea of the prevalence of the virus within our workforce. Participation is voluntary but the more people who are happy to be tested, the safer our hospitals can be for us, our patients and our families.
Where individuals test positive, they will need to follow the normal 7-day self-isolation rules and contacts will be followed up as appropriate by our contact tracing team.
Tips on keeping Covid-secure
Who do the recommendations apply to?
The recommendations apply to everyone working or visiting in a hospital setting.
The use of a surgical facemask applies for all staff when not in patient facing clinical settings (where appropriate PPE should be used in line with published guidance), including:
The use of face coverings applies to all members of the public when in the hospital setting, including visiting and outpatient appointments.
This guidance does not cover the use of masks for inpatients; this should be managed in accordance with existing guidance.
Why is this guidance only for hospitals? What about primary and community care settings?
Separate guidance aligned with this guidance is being developed for primary and community care service providers and will be made available shortly.
What is the difference between a face mask and a face covering?
All surgical facemasks are classified as either Type I, IR, II, IIR, and are medical devices provided by the hospital.
Face coverings can be cloth or homemade and should cover the nose and mouth of the wearer.
Why is a recommendation now being made for all hospital staff to wear a surgical facemask (Type 1 or II) in non-clinical and social areas?
The recommendations have been made for all staff to help prevent the spread of infection. Evidence has shown that those infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and potentially transmit the virus to others without being aware of it. Recent data suggest that the rate of COVID-19 positivity in NHS staff is around 10-20 times higher than in the general population at present, so it is important that we take steps to reduce the risk of transmission from staff who may be asymptomatic.
A surgical facemask worn in this context will help to reduce the risk of directly transmitting SARS-CoV-2 from the wearer to others and indirectly transmitting the virus to others from contaminated environmental surfaces.
What do the different surgical facemask types mean?
All surgical/medical facemasks are classified as either Type I, IR, II, IIR, and are medical devices. These are tested against BS EN 14683:2019. The tests check the bacterial filtration of the mask, the breathing resistance and the splash resistance. Type IR and Type IIR have an extra layer of material that ensures splash resistance and are not required for this purpose (but could be used in place of Type I or II masks as needed).
Why are there different characteristic of surgical facemasks?
NB: All surgical masks have external pleats/ vents, and these should always be worn downwards to the outside with the nose mould used to seal the material securely around the face.
Surgical facemasks should: Cover both nose and mouth; not be allowed to dangle around the neck; not be touched once put on – only handle by the straps when putting on and taking off; and be changed when they become moist or damaged.
Do I need to wear a mask if I work in an office on my own?
No, if you are working alone you will not be expected to wear a mask but when you leave the office, move through the hospital building e.g. on an errand, or for meal breaks, you should put on a surgical face mask (Type I or II).
If you share an office with others, hospitals can perform specific (e.g. office) work place assessments; if these demonstrate robust and reliable COVID-19 prevention measures, including but not necessarily limited to social/physical distancing, hand hygiene and frequent surface and equipment decontamination, then facemasks for staff may not be needed. All risk assessments that conclude that areas are COVID-secure should be documented.
What if I am already wearing a facemask for sessional use, do I need to change my mask?
Yes, if you are leaving a clinical area. This is because you have been wearing a mask to protect yourself when providing direct patient care. This should be removed when you leave the clinical area; and hand hygiene performed, prior to putting on a Type l or Type ll facemask.
What happens when I go to the hospital restaurant/staff room wearing my face mask?
You should continue to maintain social/physical distancing measures while in hospital restaurants or staff rooms. If eating/drinking, you should remove your mask and dispose as clinical waste. Do not place the face mask on dining tables or nearby surfaces. Once you have finished eating/drinking you should put on a new facemask to return to your clinical area or workplace. Secure supplies of facemasks and alcohol hand rub will be made available in staff restaurant areas.
At the end of the shift/day you should dispose of the face mask – you may use more than one mask depending on the duration of your shift.
How will staff have access to facemasks when they arrive for work?
A supply of masks will be available at main entrances. Handwashing or alcohol hand rubs should be available prior to donning (putting on). These area(s) should be large enough to accommodate several staff members to ensure physical distancing is maintained.
If, for example, staff are on-call and are required to work at various times, then they should be given a mask prior to leaving work.
Supplies for individual areas will be available from Central Stores – call to arrange collection on ext 8085. Facemasks must be stored in accordance with manufacturers’ guidance.
How do I dispose of my facemask after work?
Each organisation will need to provide clinical waste bins and alcohol hand rub at facility exits to ensure that staff are able to remove masks and dispose of them and decontaminate their hands.
Will wearing a facemask in a non-clinical area protect me from getting COVID-19?
The purpose of wearing a facemask in non-clinical areas is to prevent transmission from asymptomatic staff to others who they may come into contact with.
Symptomatic staff should be excluded from work.
Wearing a facemask is only one infection prevention and control measure that can help to limit the spread of COVID-19. Other measures include: compliance with social/physical distancing (2 metres); frequent environmental cleaning; hand and respiratory hygiene.
What if I have a long-term problem/breathing difficulties/claustrophobia and worry wearing a mask may make it worse?
Please discuss this with your line manager and occupational health department who will provide individual advice.
I work in an elective area (non-COVID); do I need to wear a surgical facemask?
This recommendation is for all staff in all settings and areas of the hospital.
How do I put on and take off my mask?
How do I get more masks for me/my area?
There will be supplies at the main entrances. If you would like a supply for your area, these will be provided through our Procurement Team. To avoid queues, please call ext 8085 (Central PPE Store) to arrange a time for collection.
Please do not take masks home for family and friends. Face coverings, such as scarves are recommended for use in public places such as shops and public transport. We must still be careful with stocks of surgical masks.
Why are we asking visitors/patients visiting the site to wear face coverings?
Outpatients or visitors coming to the hospital will be asked to wear face coverings to reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus to others. Evidence has shown that those infected with COVID-19 can have very mild or no respiratory symptoms (asymptomatic) and potentially transmit the virus to others without being aware of it.
Outpatients should be advised of the need to bring a face covering ahead of coming to hospital for planned care (outpatient appointments etc), for example, in appointment setting calls and confirmation letters.
What happens if an outpatient/visitor does not have a face covering when they come to the hospital?
If an outpatient or visitor does not have a face covering when they come to hospital, one should be provided by staff on arrival.
Local implementation plans should identify how this will be managed.
How do we communicate this new rule to visitors/outpatients?
The need for visitors/outpatients to wear a face covering when visiting the hospital site should be communicated through appointment letters, social media, local news stations/papers and through signage displayed at entrances to the site throughout wards and departments.
Staff should use any opportunity to inform patients of the rationale for face coverings. Consider using hospital volunteers to remind patients/visitors as they arrive on site. A face covering is not a medical/surgical mask. If outpatients and/or visitors do not have face coverings, the Trust/hospital may need to provide surgical masks or consider having a stock of face coverings available.
What does this mean for shielding patients?
For those patients who are currently shielding, and who have been provided with a surgical facemask for their appointments, these should be worn. Where not already provided, patients should wear a face covering.
What about cloth / homemade / donated facemasks?
Outpatient and visitor face coverings can be cloth and/or homemade https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-wear-and-make-a-cloth-face-covering All visitors will be expected to comply with 2 metre social/physical distancing and the recommended hand hygiene measures.
Where applicable visitors to high risk COVID-19 areas of the hospital or visitors of patients with confirmed COVID-19 must wear appropriate PPE as per the current IPC guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control
Staff should comply with the guidance on wearing a surgical face mask (as appropriate when in clinical/ non-clinical areas) whilst at work.
Does my face covering worn for religious beliefs/cultural practice qualify?
Face coverings worn as part of religious beliefs or cultural practice are acceptable providing, they are not loose and cover the mouth and nose.
What if an outpatient/visitor is unable to wear a face covering?
For some, wearing of a face mask may be difficult, and therefore all other measures must also be considered and introduced e.g. social/physical distancing, timed appointments; being seen immediately and not kept in waiting rooms. Individual risk assessments should be undertaken where required, for example patients with mental health and learning disabilities. Such risk assessments must be documented.
What about the impact of masks on communication for people who are deaf or have a hearing impairment?
The use of face masks due to the coronavirus pandemic may have an impact on patients who are deaf or have a hearing impairment as they can block the face of healthcare workers and prevent the ability to use visual cues such as facial expressions and lip reading. The below diagram outlines some good communication tactics to consider supporting patients and visitors who are deaf or have a hearing impairment:
Due to very high demand for staff testing, it is essential to pre-book a slot via the staff help desk on ext 2205, or through your department champion.
If you book via the staff help desk you must:
The phlebotomists will refuse anyone turning up without an appointment, as this is adding to the pressure of keeping to time on the appointment lists.
Please note: blood sampling for Covid-19 antibody testing for colleagues on the RCH site, booked through the Staff Help Desk (ext 2205), has now moved to The Hub in Penventinnie Lane.
Please go along at your booked time and wait in the patient waiting area – making sure to observe social distancing. A member of our phlebotomy team will call you through when ready to take your blood sample.
We understand everyone wants to be tested, but it is important not to swamp the system to the detriment of other colleagues.
If you need to change or cancel your appointment from a helpdesk slot to a department champion slot, please inform the staff help desk via 2205. Remember to be polite to the phlebotomists; they are your colleagues.
Trial of an offsite system – From 2nd June we are trialing an offsite system at Wadebridge for serology/antibody testing. Staff can book an appointment here.
The web link contains the frequently asked questions and asks for consent, in the same way as the on-site testing system. If you book via this system you will be called back and offered an appointment slot for your blood to be taken. The samples will be tested at the RCH laboratories, the phlebotomy will be performed by paramedic/ambulance staff and the result reported back to the member of staff using the same auto text messaging as the on-site testing.
Results – no matter the route, all results will be communicated confidentially via a text message system when they are received by Occupational Health.
Thank you. If you require any further information you can read more here. We will keep you updated with any further developments, updates and changes.
Did you know that we have a fantastic free confidential service open to all staff and their families including partners and dependents?
This service, provided by Health Assured, is available 24 hour a day, 7 days a week to support you with issues such as health and wellbeing information, stress at home or work, financial issues including debt, family and relationship matter and consumer issues.
To access the support service you can call 0800 030 5182, or log onto the online portal
Please see the ‘Wellbeing Coupons, Codes and Logins’ section on the ‘Wellbeing’ page on the Intranet for access details.
The Chaplaincy Support Hub is open and is based in the former Friends Coffee Shop on the Ground Floor of the Tower Block at RCH from 10am-2pm, Monday to Friday.
The Chaplaincy Support Hub is a space where any member of staff can drop by for an informal chat and find a listening ear. Someone to help ease any tension or stress they might be feeling and offer advice and support. The hub is a perfect drop-in point for staff feeling anxious or concerned.
Freedom to speak up is still very much part of us, the way we work and available to all staff.
We want to support every colleague to feel safe, and confident to raise any concerns at work, no matter how big or small.
There is a new WorkInConfidence App available to all staff through our intranet. This is a secure app, allowing all staff to raise concerns in a completely confidential way with a member of the Freedom to Speak Up team.
It is vital that all of us know we can and should continue to speak up. In such anxious times many colleagues will want to speak up, and it is even more important all of us know we will be listened to and given feedback and support.
Volunteers from charities including Hospice UK, the Samaritans and Shout, will listen to concerns and offer psychological support.
The phone line will be open between 07:00 and 23:00 every day, while the text service will be available around the clock.
Phone 0300 131 7000 or staff can text FRONTLINE to 85258.
Did you know that in addition to the national wellbeing support available to all healthcare staff our Clinical Health Psychology team and Occupational Health are supporting colleagues across the Trust to be trained as psychological first aiders (PFA’s). This is to help increase resilience and offer confidential conversational support to colleagues in distress locally within teams. If you’re interested in becoming an PFA and, or want to find out more please email email@example.com.
You can access support from trained Psychological First Aiders (PFA’s) through a dedicated Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly Health and Care Partnership staff wellbeing support line. The support line is available Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm providing you with confidential practical and emotional support. To access the support line call 01872 255757. This service compliments the national NHS Helpline details of which are provided above.
Whatever you’re going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. They’re here 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Call for free on 116 123.
Caring for people in any capacity can be emotionally demanding and sometimes leaving us feeling upset and anxious. During the COVID 19 outbreak there are many additional pressures and worries. It can be helpful to think and talk about situations we’ve found ourselves in, how this has affected us and what might help.
Throughout COVID 19 reflective sessions will run on alternate weeks at the Kspa. These very informal hour long sessions provide the chance to talk over the challenging nature of our work during these exceptional times in a confidential and supportive environment. All staff are very welcome.
KSpa lecture theatre Mon 29th June 3pm
Kspa F09 13TH July 2pm
Kspa F09 27TH July 3pm
Over the last few weeks we’ve shared with you details of how COVID-19 is disproportionally affecting black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) people and the actions we are taking to support our BAME colleagues.
We’re pleased to announce that recently Liberate Meditation have partnered with the NHS to provide staff free access to their meditation and mindfulness app. The app offers culturally sensitive and diverse meditations, curated for the BAME community, by the BAME community, aiming to reduce anxiety, alleviate stress and promote rest.
How NHS staff can access the resource:
All NHS staff have access to this resource – you access this via the following webpage.
We have been assured schools are being contacted to affirm that all NHS workers are deemed as key workers.
If anyone finds that their school is not open then they can call the Family Information Service and they will then put you through to School Admissions who can then advise you on which school can be accessed. Call 0800 587 8191 more info at: www.supportincornwall.org.uk.
We understand that a number of Childcare facilities such as nurseries are remaining open with spaces being made available to children of key workers, however, the list of childcare facilities that remain open is ever changing. If you are looking for a childcare facility that is open please contact Call 0800 587 8191or visit at: www.supportincornwall.org.uk for the most up to date information.
Additional details regarding nurseries and independent registered childcare providers can be found here.
For possible help with childcare costs, please visit www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
We have received the following advice from the Family Information Service – the Department that hold details of registered childcare in Cornwall
Please Click Here to visit the Website where you can perform a search of Childcare in your chosen area. The search also contains a filter specifically for those that are open during Covid-19 but it is worth noting that, as restrictions are relaxed and updated guidance for childcare is received, more and more provision is reopening and their capacity is increasing. Search results are updated frequently, sometimes daily.
It is always worth contacting the provider you normally use in the school holidays (if you have one) as a lot are available and continuing to prioritise vulnerable children and the children of keyworkers. Otherwise, it is a case of contacting any you are interested in to see what their availability and plans for the holidays are.
We know these are challenging and uncertain times, and the parents and carers amongst us may be feeling additional pressure to ‘home educate’ our children and dependents.
Please know that there are lots of support networks, websites and ideas, and we are here to support you if you feel you need some help to get your head around it all!
Useful online resources:
Ideas to keep occupied:
Obviously, this list of tips and resources is not exhaustive, just a small guide to set you on your way if you’re struggling to get going.
Remember, as a working parent or carer, you are doing an amazing job for us at RCHT at this time, and we so appreciate your experience and expertise. There is a lot of pressure from differing levels, so please also remember, when you aren’t at work helping us, to take some down time and enjoy the time with your family.
RCHT’s The Little Shop is now closed we would like to thank all the volunteers for their brilliant work and massive thanks to Bev Wills for all her hard work.
Patient Discharge Bags Voluntary services are now running the service for elderly, frail and vulnerable patients who are returning home to receive a bag of essentials.
Monday to Friday – 8.00am – 3.30pm ring x5169 – Please note for any early discharges – bags can be ordered the day before.
Saturdays and Sundays – wards to inform Site Co-ordinators on bleep 3501 – bags will be held in the pandemic store for issue over the weekend.
We are looking at how we can best provide this at West Cornwall Hospital and St Michael’s Hospital and are planning for this to begin very soon.
We now have a central website to gives you details of all the local companies offering food parcels and precooked meals, alongside their menus for you to see.
Please also see below the special opening hours for local supermarkets for NHS workers
|TESCO||0900-1000hrs Every Sunday morning for NHS workers|
|SAINSBURYS||0730-0800hrs Monday to Saturday for NHS workers|
|MORRISONS||0600-0700hrs Monday to Saturday for NHS workers, 30 mins early on Sunday and 10% off from 16th APRIL 2020|
|WAITROSE||Little shop made up in the café for NHS workers – show ID badge|
|ALDI||Priority queuing in all stores showing ID Badge. 30 mins early shopping every Sunday|
|M&S FOOD||First hour of trading Tuesday and Friday for NHS workers|
|ASDA||0800-0900hrs Monday, Wednesday, Friday or NHS workers|
|ICELAND||Final hour of trading Monday to Saturday for NHS workers|
We’d like to offer an enormous thank you to Ben and his Canteen team colleagues who have been done an amazing job in providing fresh and nutritious food to staff at RCHT. The Canteen food boxes have now come to an end, but we are so grateful for the care they showed to us here at RCHT.
As you will know from previous emails Ben Quinn, owner of St Agnes restaurant Canteen set up a Crowdfunding page. Thanks to the amazing community of Cornwall, over £18,000 has been raised. The funds raised were going towards providing subsidised delicious box meals for our brilliant colleagues. However, as the money raised exceeded expectations, Ben and his team were able to deliver these delicious boxes of food for free using the funds, across all three hospital sites.
Community based staff – catering facilities
We recognise that some of our colleagues might be working at community sites and we want to ensure that they are as catered for as colleagues at our main hospital sites.
By working with some fantastic caterers, there are lunchtime provisions for hot food 7 days a week.
Please see the current weekly menu rota below for colleagues who might be at the St Austell, Liskeard or Bodmin sites.
NHS England has also started to compile a list of NHS Discounts and offers that colleagues may find useful at this time. You can find some of these on our own database of discounts and offers and we shall continually update.
All details can be found at NHS England Staff offers.
*Please be aware that some are locality specific*
We know it is important for people to be able to shower before going home to loved ones. Please see the list of shower facilities on site and how to access them.
Now it is no longer permitted to travel to and from work in uniforms we have worked with facilities to make some facilities available across the organisation where you can change and shower. We know it is important for people to be able to wash and change before going home to loved ones. Below is a list of available areas to you:
Knowledge Spa, Basement floor, female and male showers:
Trelawny Ground Floor:
For locker codes please see the ‘Wellbeing Coupons, Codes and Logins’ section on the Wellbeing’ page on the Intranet.
We’re working hard on providing toiletries and clean towels for staff to use so please keep a look out for when these will be available in due course.
Urgent dental care centres to serve the South West
A network of 15 centres has been created across the South West for people who need help for urgent and emergency dental conditions, including severe pain and infection. Full article can be accessed here.
To gain access people should contact their own dentist in the first instance for an assessment. All dental practices should be contactable, outside of surgery hours people are advised to call NHS111.
People without a dentist or who cannot get through to their surgery should contact: 0333 405 0290
|FITNESS AND PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES – HELPING YOU TO KEEP ACTIVE
|9.00 PE with Joe Wicks||9.00 – PE with Joe Wicks||9.00 – PE with Joe Wicks||9.00 – PE with Joe Wicks||9.00 – PE with Joe Wicks||11.30 – Dance with Oti Mabuse – children||10.00 Anti-stress Yoga class – Zoom Meeting ID 289413840|
|11.30 – Dance with Oti Mabuse – children||11.30 – Dance with Oti Mabuse – children||11.30 – Dance with Oti Mabuse – children||11.30 – Dance with Oti Mabuse – children||11.30 – Dance with Oti Mabuse – children||7.30pm – Shake It With Oti Mabuse||11.30 – Dance with Oti Mabuse – children|
|7.30pm – Shake It With Oti Mabuse||7.30pm – Shake It With Oti Mabuse||1pm – Rising Stars football skills classes||7.30pm – Shake It With Oti Mabuse|
Please see the ‘Wellbeing Coupons, Codes and Logins’ section on the ‘Wellbeing’ page on the Intranet for login or coupon details.
The national response provides easy access to staff through the call centre, and are also now offering colleagues the chance to make bookings online via this link: New hotel booking online link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/NHS_Hotel
Where staff experience difficulties in accessing support through CTM, we ask that you raise any concerns with the Organisational Development team by email RCHT.firstname.lastname@example.org providing your name, contact details including phone number, department and job title along with the issues you are experiencing. This is so that we can escalate any issues to CTM.
If you are parking onsite in the free parking areas provided can you please email QPark at email@example.com please include: Name, contact number and car registration. Please make sure you park responsibly and don’t obstruct any emergency areas, we have had reports people are parking in disabled spaces and blocking emergency exits.
Anyone currently paying by Direct Debit do not need to do anything as we will not be collecting payments from your accounts until further notice. When the country recovers from the Coronavirus – Covid-19 outbreak you will be informed in advance as to when payments will be reinstated. Staff who have paid in full for their permits will have their end date extended from 6th October 2020 until 6th January 2021 although this may change depending on the length of time this outbreak continues, we will be in regular contact with our permit holders informing you of any subsequent changes.
We would like to thank local businesses and our community for supporting us in a time of need.
NEW! – GWR station car parks have offered free parking for staff. The car parks don’t close so there is no limit to length of stay or time of use. Staff must register their vehicles as many of our car parks use Automatic Number Plate Recognition and if the vehicle is not registered their free parking will not be valid.
Please follow this Step by Step Guide:
The following confirmation will show on the screen, confirming you have a valid permit for 3 months from the starting date. You will not need to show a permit, your vehicle is then registered and can park for free in your selected car park.
Published: April 7, 2020
The community of Cornwall have been phenomenal and overwhelmed us with their generosity, kindness and practical offers of help and support. Thanks to a Crowdfunding page set up by owner of restaurant Canteen in St Agnes, Benn Quinn, almost £14,000 has been raised to go towards providing delicious meals for our brilliant colleagues.