COVID-19 Updated guidance for healthcare settings

The last remaining COVID restrictions in England have ended (24th Feb), in the Republic of Ireland the mandatory requirement to wear a mask was removed (28th Feb) and Scotland’s restrictions are due to end on 21st March.

The guidance from NHS England, the UK Health Security Agency, the Northern Ireland Public Health Agency, and Public Health Wales continues to recommend Type II or Type IIR face coverings in healthcare settings.

The advice also recommends that: “physical distancing of one metre should still remain, increasing whenever feasible to two metres, across all health and care settings”. The guidance continues to recommend that staff and organisations continue to undertake risk assessments using ‘hierarchy of controls’ measures. This should include an evaluation of the ventilation in the area, operational capacity, physical distancing and prevalence of Covid-19.

This information is applicable to all health professionals.  The Government link is: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-management-of-exposed-healthcare-workers-and-patients-in-hospital-settings/covid-19-management-of-exposed-healthcare-workers-and-patients-in-hospital-settings

There is a good ‘Nursing Times’ article, that shares concern from a health professional prospective of what is likely to happen post 1st April. https://www.nursingtimes.net/news/coronavirus/living-with-covid-19-what-new-plan-means-for-nurses-22-02-2022/

The guidance has also made a range of recommendations for occupational health practitioners working within the NHS, health or care settings. This has included re-emphasising that “prompt recognition” of cases of respiratory infection among health and care staff remains essential to limiting transmission. “All staff should be vigilant for any signs of respiratory infection and should not come to work if they have respiratory symptoms.

Full Infection Control Precautions can be found here Infection prevention and control for seasonal respiratory infections in health and care settings (including SARS-CoV-2) for winter 2021 to 2022 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

There are additional resources for your clinic including best practice hand wash, best practice hand rub and sample screening tools available via this link COVID-19: infection prevention and control (IPC) – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

In the Republic of Ireland with effect from 28th February, the mandatory requirement to wear masks was removed, whilst public health advice that masks should continue to be worn on public transport and in healthcare settings remains. Please see https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/aac74c-guidance-on-safe-use-of-face-coverings/

“I am delighted to welcome Anthony Hubbard to the Institute’s Senior Management Team from 1st January 2022 in a brand new and most exciting role for the Institute as Chief Executive Officer. His simple remit is to continue to drive forward our ongoing development and long-term growth as the fully democratic UK professional podiatry and foot health body that is run by members for members. You will probably already know Anthony as a co-opted external expert to the Institute’s Board of Directors, and over the last months he has brought to our deliberations a welcome fund of knowledge and widespread experience in the healthcare world. His past senior roles include Managing Director of the nationally known medical and scientific supplies company Schuco International, and his present role is as a Senior Technical Executive in Croda Pharmaceuticals (a UK chemicals/pharmaceutical company with a current revenue of £1.39 Billion) from which he moves on to take over his new role with IOCP. As well as being a strong business professional he is a Scientist with a BSc (Hons) in Applied Chemistry from Trent Polytechnic, a Chartered Scientist and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. Anthony will be reporting to the Board via myself and working with Jill as Company Secretary and her admin team of Julie, our Membership Officer, Sam, our Education Officer and Kirsty, our Marketing Specialist, with all of whom he has already established an excellent professional relationship during his time as a Board Advisor. I know that I speak for the Board in that they, and myself, are looking forward immensely to working with Anthony, and our already established team members, in this exciting new development stage of our more than 70 years of service to the feet of the nation and the dedicated professionals; you, our members, who work so hard to maintain and improve it.” – Martin Harvey FPodM IP PGC BSc, Chair Board of Directors IOCP

Anthony Hubbard CSci CChem FRSC:
“At a time when NHS services are becoming increasingly more difficult to access, certainly in a timely manner, we have a great opportunity in front of us to promote our services directly to the general public and also to work to train and develop people involved in all levels of foot and lower limb health, from entry level foot health practitioners all the way through to supporting podiatric surgeons in their ongoing continual professional development in delivering their services and supporting them in their own business growth. To do this, we need to review our ways of working, create a strategy for growth, develop our supporting services and focus on delivery in all that we do.

What experience do I have in creating such a pathway and ensuring that we deliver? For the past 6 years I have been leading a health care applications laboratory for the largest chemical company in the UK, a company called Croda, with their HQ in Yorkshire; you probably haven’t heard of them by name, but you will have heard all of their customers in the personal care and health care world and you will almost certainly have used some of their materials in your day-to-day lives without knowing it. If you have had a COVID-19 vaccine, then you will have had some of their very pure excipients used in the delivery system for those active pharmaceutical ingredients in the vaccines. Prior to working with Croda, I have previously worked with The Institute when I was the Managing Director of Schuco, a London based company who were supplying medical devices to IOCP members and supporting training events and the annual conference. During my time at Schuco, I grew the business year-on-year by working closely with customers to understand the market and their needs and delivered against those needs. I also have a background of working with Boots the Chemists, where I was leading teams developing and testing products and managing regulatory compliance and the groups technical policy. I also worked with regulators and the government to shape the law and regulations for the safety of cosmetic products within the UK.

I look forward to 2022 where we will be providing the infrastructure for engagement and growth from HQ and the delivery will only be successful with a network or tutors, trainers, mentors and auditors. To that end, I am putting out my first call for volunteers so that we can have the whole UK geography covered with eager, helpful members who are interested in getting involved in developing others to be the best that they can be! If you want to get on board at this exciting time for the IoCP, drop me a line telling me what area you would be interested in supporting and what geographical area you would be able to cover.

I aim to be meeting lots of our members through the year to get a better understanding of how you feel that The Institute can be shaped to deliver the things that you need from a great membership organisation. One place that you will be able to meet me personally will be at our AGM, so get the date in your diary if you are able to get to the NEC in May.

Until then, please feel free to reach out to me at anthony@iocp.org.uk. Here’s wishing you a happy, healthy and successful 2022.”

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