Coronavirus – latest information for Longhurst Group Colleagues

This webpage includes key information and advice for Longhurst Group colleagues about how the organisation is responding to Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and the steps colleagues should take.

It will be regularly updated as the picture changes so please continue to monitor this page for the latest information.


  Last updated: 24/09/2020

Working comfortably and productively 

Following the government announcement on 22 September that further restrictions are being introduced to help curtail the spread of Coronavirus, we wanted to update colleagues about our ongoing response and future plans.

With the number of new cases and hospital admissions sadly increasing, the government bringing in tighter restrictions and colder weather likely to enhance the risk of the virus spreading more quickly, it’s really important that we continue to do everything we can to keep our colleagues and customers safe.  

To help contain the virus, it’s absolutely crucial that people who can work from home, continue to do so.

It is vital that we follow this guidance and continue to limit and better monitor the number of colleagues visiting our offices.

Considering all the challenges we face, including feelings of social isolation and concerns about childcare and other caring responsibilities, we need to be mindful of taking a balanced approach and making informed decisions based on what’s right for our people and our organisation.

In line with government guidance and the approach we’ve taken throughout the pandemic, colleagues who are able to work productively, comfortably and happily from home, should absolutely continue to do so.

We are taking steps to provide opportunities for people struggling with home working, to work from an office, but only where this has been agreed with their line manager. We have been considering making meeting rooms available to help colleagues remain connected, but that decision is now under review. 

We all have to take responsibility for our own health and safety, and the health and safety of others. 

Our offices – latest updates

In line with our ongoing priority to keep colleagues and customers safe, our offices haven’t fully reopened since March and that will remain the case for the remainder of this year.

Some locations have continued to be accessed by a small number of colleagues, including the Boston office, which has been opening on Mondays, Wednesday and Fridays to enable colleagues to carry out key duties, such as the management of incoming and outgoing post.

We are introducing new measures at all offices to enable us to gain a better understanding of the number of people visiting and to ensure we can accurately contact trace, should the need arise.

All of our offices will remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future. 

Meeting and working at offices

Where possible, colleagues are still encouraged to use the available technology and meet virtually. We had been working towards making meeting rooms available, starting with the Boston office from Monday 5 October, but given the latest government advice we are currently re-evaluating whether it’s the right thing to do.

Alongside information we’ve gathered from line managers about colleagues based at other offices, we will monitor demand and regularly evaluate this situation. 

Beginning with the Boston office, colleagues who need to visit the office – either to carry out work they cannot do at home or because they are struggling from home and have agreed it with their line manager – will be required to pre-book a desk space, using a new online booking system.

Our offices – key information

The section below will be updated as and when further information is available.


The Boston office is now open five days a week, but the number of people visiting is limited to those that absolutely need to visit the office, and strict social distancing measures need to be followed.

  • Desks have been made available based on the capacity to ensure social distancing. This means that fewer desks will be used, and colleagues will not be working in as close proximity.
  • Colleagues will only be able to book up to seven days in advance. 
  • Bookings will be limited and on a first come, first served basis. 

Booking a workspace

Colleagues have the option of morning or afternoon bookings.

  • Morning bookings are valid from 9am to 12pm
  • Afternoon bookings are valid from 1pm to 4pm.

Important information

  • Before making a booking, please make your line manager aware and gain their approval.
  • Please also ensure that you sign in and out of the building using the log-in sheets provided. 
  • Before attending the Boston office, it’s imperative that they familiarise themselves with an office induction document and our guidance around desk hygiene

Booking form

Rutland VAR

Retaining office space at Rutland VAR

Based on what we’ve learned during the Coronavirus pandemic, our long-term vision remains to provide the best possible service to our customers and realise our vision, while working from fewer offices and travelling less.

As we seize this opportunity to think about how and where we’ll work, we’ve made a decision about the future of the Rutland VAR office in Oakham.

In the last few months, we’ve assessed the long-term future of the Rutland office and carefully considered the facilities we are likely to need.

The survey issued to all office-based colleagues in recent weeks will help us gain a clearer picture of the office space we’ll need in the future, at Rutland and other locations. But with our existing lease being up for renewal and negotiations taking place with Rutland VAR, we’ve had to prioritise understanding the space we need and make a decision.

After speaking to colleagues based at the office and gaining a full understanding of the logistical requirements of their role, as well as assessing the current office space and other nearby alternatives, we have decided to continue leasing a ground-floor space at Rutland VAR.

It is anticipated that this space will primarily be used by members of the Assistive Technology team, as a base between appointments with customers and to store key equipment.

During the Coronavirus pandemic, colleagues attending this office will be required to use a booking system to enable social distancing.

Colleagues outside of the Assistive Technology team will continue to work from home, both in the shorter and longer term.

In the coming weeks, as the results of our Returning Stronger survey are analysed and recommendations are made, we’ll have a better idea of the future requirements of colleagues.

Where absolutely necessary, alternative arrangements may be made for colleagues who are struggling to work from home, particularly in the shorter-term. This will be done on an individual basis and in conjunction with their line manager.

All colleagues based at Rutland VAR have already been made aware of these developments.

Once the new space is ready, a decision will be made about how and when it will reopen for a small number of colleagues to access.

All offices – site managers

Anybody who needs to visit an office for essential purposes should first agree this with their line manager and then contact the relevant site manager to arrange the best day and time to visit an office.

To reserve a desk space at Boston, please read the booking arrangements above and complete the booking form.

Site Managers have been appointed for most of our offices. Details of these are listed below:

  • Beechdale, Walsall: Sarah Lowe
  • Boston: Nick Worboys and Rob Griffiths
  • Bedworth: Joely Copson (supported by Lily Seddon)
  • Birmingham: Jackie Harris
  • Braithwaite Road: Sharon Peters
  • Grimsby: Denny Batty
  • Lincoln: Chris Parkinson
  • Nottingham: Andrena White
  • Peterborough: Mark Oldaker
  • Rushden: Thomas Purdy
  • Rutland VAR/Oakham: Charlotte Holley (supported by Andy Wright). 

Track and trace for Coronavirus

Track and trace

If you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace team because you have been in close contact with somebody who has tested positive, please let People Services and your line manager know. 

If the contact occurred during your work within a care and support service, whether that be with colleagues, residents or service users, a risk assessment will be carried out. This will take into account the use (or not) of PPE during the likely exposure, and colleagues will be advised on the requirement to isolate on a case-by-case basis. 

In all other circumstances, if you are deemed at risk of catching the virus, you will be instructed by the NHS to go into isolation for 14 days, whether you are unwell or not.

You will only be tested if you develop symptoms. The rest of your household will only have to isolate if someone becomes ill.

If the test comes back negative, everyone in your household can go back to normal.

Close contact is defined as:

  • People you’ve spent 15 minutes or more with at a distance of less than two metres
  • People you’ve had direct contact with – such as sexual partners, household members or people with whom you have had face-to-face conversations at a distance of less than one metre
  • The contact must have taken place between two days before and up to seven days after symptoms appeared.

Personal protective equipment (PPE)

Executive Director of Care and Partnerships, Louise Platt and Director of Care and Support, Bernadette Farrell, have recorded short videos to remind Care and Support colleagues of the importance of continuing to follow all of the guidance provided around social distancing and the donning and doffing PPE. Please click below to find out more.

Using PPE correctly

Our Director of Care and Support, Bernadette Farrell, has recorded a short video to remind Care and Support colleagues of the importance of continuing to follow all of the guidance provided around social distancing and the donning and doffing of PPE.

PPE – our guidance and processes

You will have heard about the struggles the NHS is having in providing adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to their staff.

We are facing challenges of our own but would like to reassure colleagues that we are prioritising the issue of PPE to where it is needed the most to ensure that Care and Support colleagues providing personal care, or those in close proximity with residents, have the right protective equipment.

As with key workers in other sectors, Care and Support colleagues who are providing services to customers but are still able to follow the government guidance around social distancing while doing so, have not been issued with PPE.

A dedicated team, set up to help us to maintain the best possible care and support service, is working hard to procure as much equipment as we can to help us through the coming weeks.

Louise Platt has also recorded a video covering the guidance and processes we have in place for PPE.

Living and working during the pandemic – useful information for colleagues

Coronavirus: colleague wellbeing

  Coronavirus: colleague wellbeing

At Longhurst Group we understand the importance of supporting colleagues with their health and wellbeing, as well as enhancing their economic resilience.

To support colleagues going forwards, as well as helping you through these challenging times, we have created a page that outlines our free employee assistance programme and how you can access up-to-date financial information from CFED. Follow this link to find out more:

  Coronavirus: colleague wellbeing and support

Delivering core services

Fundamentally, we are following the Government advice as closely as we can, to keep people as safe as we possibly can and to try our very best to maintain the core and essential services that we provide to our customers.

As things change in during the course of the pandemic, it is possible that colleagues could be deployed in different roles and services to ensure that we can continue to provide these services.

Working, pay and what it means for you

  Working, pay and what it means for you

We have created a dedicated page that covers our approach to pay during this pandemic.

This page includes comprehensive information about the different scenarios colleagues may face during the coronavirus outbreak and our pay approach for each.

 Coronavirus: working, pay and what it means for you

Working from home – ICT guidance and information

  Working from home – ICT guidance and information

Our ICT team has provided a complete rundown to getting set up for home working. Follow the link below to access advice, factsheets and contacts if you need any help.

  Working from home - ICT guidance

Out of hours support

  Out of hours support

During weekends, the following teams are offering an additional emergency out-of-hours service:

People Services

People Services will be on call at weekends between 8am and 8pm for emergency support and advice to managers and care and support colleagues.

If you need emergency support and advice please call:

Rachel Bennett: 07918 742 239 – this call may be directed to other colleagues


In the event of a crisis or urgent media enquiry or interview request from a member of the media, at any time during the week, please contact:

Jon Reeves: 07436 538 292
Matt Dannatt: 07795 447 296

If the call isn’t answered straight away, please leave a voicemail with clear information and contact details and the team will respond as soon as possible.


ICT operation will run from 8am to 5.15pm but support calls can be logged at any time through the ICT portal and will be picked up.

However, in emergencies, the team will be able to take support calls between 5.15pm to 8pm.

Further support with CCTV will be provided, on a rota basis, for care and support locations from 4 April.

Health and Safety

For urgent issues only, please contact:

Thomas Bolsher: 07584 346 043
Emma Basham: 07501 470 675

If the call isn’t answered straight away, please leave a voicemail with clear details and contact details and the team will endeavour to respond as soon as possible.

What steps should colleagues take in their day to day jobs?

Wash your hands

Wash your hands frequently with soap and water and use the anti-viral hand sanitisers that will be delivered to offices soon.

Catch it, bin it, kill it

If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose in your elbow or with a tissue. Throw the tissue away into a closed bin and clean your hands thoroughly. This can help to prevent the spread of germs and viruses.
Please continue to follow advice around washing your hands thoroughly and regularly. Please always wash your hands:

  • before leaving home
  • on arrival at work
  • after using the toilet
  • after breaks and sporting activities
  • before food preparation
  • before eating any food, including snacks
  • before leaving work and on arrival at home.

Colleagues handling post or cash should wash their hands as these items will have been handled by various people in transit.

We are doing everything we can to prepare in the event of care and support locations needing a deep clean. Where a symptomatic person has passed through a communal area, all handrails, door handles, surfaces that are touched, should be cleaned.

We have communicated with all of our contract/employed cleaners and increased routine daily cleaning of all high contact areas (door handles/releases, computer keyboards, bathrooms, kitchens) etc.

We have shared the government guidance on decontamination in non-healthcare settings and assured ourselves that provision is in place to undertake deep cleans of workplaces/homes in the event of a confirmed case.

Remember, if you have a fever, cough or breathing difficulties, or have lost your loss of sense of smell or taste, please seek early medical assistance.

Other sensible steps to take

For colleagues working away from office locations, as well as regular handwashing, please use hand sanitiser where this is available. Where supplies are unavailable, please consider using local facilities that may have hand sanitisers that you can access within your working area.

Public Health England recommends avoiding direct or close contact (within two metres) with anybody who is potentially infected with the virus. Please be mindful of reducing close contact with people showing symptoms of the virus (cough, difficulty breathing, fever, loss of sense of smell or taste).

Childcare and caring responsibilities

Although nurseries, schools and colleges are set to stay open following the latest government restrictions, the possibility remains that when cases arise at these locations, children may be back at home for a period of time.

Our approach to supporting colleagues through these challenges remains the same. If you have concerns about this or any other caring responsibilities you are continuing to juggle with work commitments, please speak to your line manager or People Services.

Coronavirus and travel

Public transport closures

As and when any public transport closures are announced, we would like to reassure frontline colleagues that should you need to use a taxi to get to your work location, we will reimburse you for this cost.

Please keep a receipt for any journeys to and from work which are made via taxi and claim these back through your expenses.

Non-essential travel

Please do not travel between offices or other work locations. If you feel it is absolutely essential for you to travel, please speak to your line manager.

All meetings, training, events and conferences should now be cancelled or take place remotely using the available technology.

Travelling abroad

Following the recent government announcement that people travelling to various countries will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival back home and, in recognition of what’s likely to be an ever-changing picture, we have updated our guidance for colleagues travelling outside of the UK.

The latest list of countries where quarantine measures are not in place upon return to the UK can be found here.

Before booking a trip or travelling abroad, please check this list to see whether you’ll be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon your return.

Please also bear in mind that, as we’ve seen with Spain and other countries, quarantine restrictions could be reinstated or introduced for people returning from any country at any point.

If the country you are travelling to is not on this updated list and you are required to self-isolate for 14 days when you return, then you’ll need to take the following steps:

  • Before travelling, you will be required to provide contact details and the address you will self-isolate from upon your return.
  • You must complete the public health passenger locator form 48 hours before you arrive back to England.
  • Once returning home, you will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • If you don’t provide contact details, you could be fined £100 and if you refuse to self-isolate, you could be fined £1,000.
  • Travel outside of the UK remains limited and subject to the rules implemented by different countries. You should check government guidance on travelling to specific countries before your journey.

Longhurst Group’s guidance

With the ongoing pandemic creating an uncertain and unpredictable situation, the Group would advise colleagues to think very carefully about making new arrangements to travel outside of the UK in the coming weeks and months.

If you would be unable to fulfil your normal duties at home during a 14-day quarantine period then – in line with government guidance - you are advised not to make new arrangements to travel outside of the UK, unless this travel is deemed as essential.

Colleagues who are able to work from home will continue to do so during a 14-day quarantine period following their holiday.

Colleagues who are unable to work from home and booked their holiday before May 1, 2020, will be entitled to their normal contractual pay during the 14-day quarantine period, even though they are unable to fulfil their normal duties. If appropriate, alternative duties can be found then colleagues may be required to carry these out during this two-week period.

If you are travelling to a country where quarantine rules are in place following your return to England, we have created the following scenarios and guidance to help you understand what this will mean for you.

Scenario One

I booked my holiday before May 1, 2020. When I return to England, I am able to continue my role while in quarantine for 14 days at home.
Guidance: You can continue working from home as you have been during the Coronavirus pandemic without the need to book any extra annual leave.

Scenario Two

I booked my holiday before May 1, 2020. When I return to England, I am not able to continue my role while in quarantine for 14 days at home.
Guidance: You will be entitled to your normal contractual pay during the 14-day quarantine period. If appropriate, you may be given alternative duties to carry out during this two-week period.

Scenario Three

I booked my holiday on or after May 1, 2020. When I return to England, I am able to continue my role while in quarantine for 14 days at home.
Guidance: You can continue working from home as you have been during the Coronavirus pandemic without the need to book any extra annual leave.


Scenario Four

I booked my holiday on or after May 1, 2020. When I return to England, I am not able to continue my role while in quarantine for 14 days at home.
Guidance: You will have to take additional annual leave, unpaid leave or a combination of both, to cover the 14-day quarantine period.


An ever-changing picture

Following the sudden and unpredicted change in circumstances to countries, such as Spain, it is possible that colleagues may have booked a trip believing they wouldn’t need to quarantine on their return to the UK, and will now have to quarantine for 14 days.

If you made travel arrangements between Monday 6 July 2020 (when quarantine restrictions had been lifted) and Saturday 25 July (when quarantine restrictions were reinstated), and you are unable to continue your role at home during the 14-day quarantine period, please speak to your line manager.

Line managers will refer individual cases to a Director for guidance and the best possible solution will be agreed.

Making new arrangements to travel abroad

Colleagues should follow government advice and avoid any non-essential travel to countries where quarantine measures are in place upon your return.

Colleagues travelling to any country should be mindful that quarantine restrictions upon your return to the UK could be introduced or reinstated at any point.

If you are unable to carry out your normal duties while working from home, please think very carefully about making any new arrangements for non-essential travel abroad.

As outlined earlier, if you made travel arrangements after May 1 and are not able to continue your role at home, you will have to take additional annual leave, unpaid leave or a combination of both, to cover the 14-day quarantine period.

If in doubt, please discuss this situation with your line manager or speak to People Services for further guidance.

Falling ill with Coronavirus – advice for colleagues

Government guidelines and our responsibilities

We take our responsibilities as an employer extremely seriously and want to ensure that everybody is following the government guidelines. This will help us to do everything we can to keep everyone safe.


If you have been contacted by the NHS and advised that you need to shield yourself at home, it is crucial that you inform your line manager and People Services immediately.

  Frontline care and support colleagues within this category must stop coming into work. 

High-risk groups

If you are more vulnerable and classed by the government as being in a high-risk group (including people with underlying health conditions, those over 70 and those who are pregnant), it is crucial that you inform your line manager and People Services immediately.

What to do if you think you have Coronavirus

The NHS website confirms that the symptoms of coronavirus are:
  a high temperature
  shortness of breath

But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have coronavirus.

The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.

The NHS advises that you call 111 if you think you might have coronavirus and isolate yourself from other people. Please also let Longhurst Group know by contacting People Services.

If you think you may have come into contact with someone with coronavirus, please call 111 for advice.

In the unlikely event that a Longhurst Group colleague has confirmed coronavirus, the organisation will immediately undertake a risk assessment to determine who they have been in contact with and work with health professionals as per NHS advice to help prevent further spread.

Symptoms and self-isolation

If you have any of the symptoms associated with Coronavirus (cough, temperature or flu-like symptoms), however mild, please contact People Services as soon as possible and follow the government and NHS advice to stay at home and self-isolate for seven days.

You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation.

If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after seven days, contact NHS 11 online, call NHS 111 for dial 999 in a medical emergency.

If you feel well enough and can work from home, please do so. Your line manager or other colleagues will check in with you by phone on a daily basis over the isolation period to maintain communication and provide support. 

If you are feeling too unwell or are unable to work from home, please speak to your line manager.

During self-isolation, please stay at least 2 metres (about 3 steps) away from other people in your home, sleep alone (if possible) and wash your hands regularly, for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water.

Stay away from vulnerable people, such as older people and those with underlying health conditions, as much as possible.

Underlying health conditions include people who have serious chronic medical conditions like:

  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes
  • Lung disease and respiratory conditions.
Coronavirus testing

Using the Coronavirus self-testing kit

In the video below, which has been produced by the Department of Health and Social Care, Dr Amir Khan explains how to use the self-testing kit for Coronavirus.

Dr Khan runs through the process of conducting the simple nasal and throat swab and details the steps needed to ensure a test is correctly returned for processing.

The Coronavirus Testing Call Centre can be contacted on 0300 303 2713 between the hours of 7am and 11pm. This service can be accessed by people with hearing or speech difficulties by calling 18001 0300 303 2713.

As you’ll have seen on the news, Coronavirus testing is gradually becoming more accessible for key workers, with more mobile testing centres being opened and an increased number of appointments becoming available.  

People Services are on hand to support colleagues, including those in Care and Support and those providing other frontline services, through the testing process, but you can do your bit to help things run as smoothly as possible.

If you or a member of your household have symptoms associated with Coronavirus, please ensure that you make your line manager and People Services aware as soon as possible.

On a daily basis, People Services are submitting a list to Public Health England of all of our key workers who have reported having these symptoms, as well as those that have reported that a member of their household has symptoms.

Those included on this list will then receive a text message from Public Health England, prompting them to book a test within 48 hours.

If colleagues need any support with booking a test, they are asked to speak to People Services or their line manager.

If you have a test booked, please let People Services and your line manager know when it is booked for and the result of the test.

Louise Platt has recorded a video covering the testing process and how we can help colleagues through this.

What happens if I become ill or have to self-isolate?

Sickness leave and pay

Visit Coronavirus: working, pay and what it means for you for a full review of the Group's work and pay arrangements during the Coronavirus pandemic 

Pre-existing health issues

If you have significant health issues and are concerned you may be at higher risk of contracting coronavirus, please speak to your line manager and ensure that people People Services are aware that you have consider yourself to be at risk. If you are well enough and happy to do so, please continue to come to work or work from home, if you are able to do so.

If you develop any of the symptoms associated with the virus, please seek immediate advice from NHS 111 and contact your line manager so that a risk assessment can be conducted.

Coronavirus-related absences: reporting an absence and returning to work

Coronavirus-related absences: reporting an absence and returning to work

Reporting a Coronavirus-related absence

It’s crucial that all colleagues report any Coronavirus-related absences to People Services.

If a colleague or a family member have any symptoms which require them to be absent from work, or they’ve been told they need to shield, please also pass this on to People Services.

If a member of your team has symptoms but is still working from home or they have been tested for Covid-19, either because they’re unwell or as part of a local testing scheme for care and support workers, please inform People Services to ensure we have an accurate picture of who is affected across the business.

  Reporting an absence
Please report absence to the People Services Team on 01205 319623 or by email to

 Advice and further information
For more information about the procedure for coronavirus-related absence, please read the latest coronavirus-related absence form.

If you’d like advice on either absence or supporting colleagues impacted by coronavirus, please email or contact one of our dedicated COVID-19 Employee Support team members, Rav Brahach (for non-care) on 0247 684 8148 or Monika Baginska (for Care and Support) on 01205 319 644.

Returning to work after a Coronavirus-related absence

To help colleagues navigate their return to work following a Coronavirus-related absence, a specific form has been created.

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) return to work form covers the reason colleagues may have been absent – including illness and self-isolation - and provides guidance around the questions that line managers will need to ask.

Please use this form for all Coronavirus-related absences. Once completed, please email them to People Services.

Access and download the Return to Work form on Our Workplace.

Self isolation and social distancing

10-day self-isolation

The Government has announced that people who test positive for Coronavirus or show symptoms are now required to self-isolate for at least 10 days, rather than seven.

All Longhurst Group colleagues, including those in probationary periods, will receive normal pay if they are required to self-isolate for 10 days.

If you have symptoms of Coronavirus but feel well enough to work, then please work from home if you’re able to do so.

If you feel well enough to work but are unable to work from home, please speak to your line manager who will agree other work you can do and any necessary changes to your working hours.

If you are unable to work from home, either because you are unwell or cannot carry out your normal role or alternative duties from home, you will be eligible for sick pay for your 10-day self-isolation period.

If you have Coronavirus symptoms or have tested positive for Coronavirus, please ensure that you inform your line manager and People Services straight away.

For frontline care and support colleagues, your return to work after a 10-day isolation is dependent on a COVID-19 risk assessment.

What happens if I need to self-isolate?

Visit Coronavirus: working, pay and what it means for you for a full review of the Group's work and pay arrangements during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Social distancing

Social distancing is advised for everyone without symptoms. It sets out measures that we should all be taking as much as we reasonably can to limit the spread of infection. These include:

  1. Avoiding contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or a new and continuous cough.
  2. Avoiding non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible.
  3. Working from home, where possible. Please refer to employer guidance for more information.
  4. Avoiding large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars and clubs.
  5. Avoiding gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
  6. Using the telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.

The guidance advises that those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus should be particularly stringent in avoiding these social interactions. This is why we are complying with this guidance by instructing that colleagues within the increased risk categories should work from home if they are able to. 

For those in a higher risk group who cannot work at home, we ask that you speak with your line manager and People Services. 

We will work with colleagues to provide the assurance they need to limit social contact, whether by means of increased protective equipment, adjusted duties or potentially time away from work.

The Government has advised that people at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19), include those:

Please note: There are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

This week, the NHS in England will directly contact these people with advice around the more stringent measures they should take to keep themselves and others safe.

People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex health problems such as:

  • people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication.
  • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
  • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment.
  • people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets).
  • people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis).

Due to the expectation that, from this weekend, the advice for high risk groups will become enforced self-isolation for 12 weeks, we anticipate further guidance to employers on employee rights who are unable to work at home will follow. 

We remain committed to doing everything we can to help colleagues through this challenging time and we thank you for your continued assistance and understanding.

  Press enquiries

Should you receive a media enquiry, this must be passed on to Jon Reeves or Matt Dannatt in the Communications Team as soon as possible.

Colleagues should not comment or agree to being interviewed without the Communications Team being informed first.

In the event of a crisis or urgent media enquiry or interview request from a member of the media, at any time during the week, please contact:

Jon Reeves: 07436 538 292
Matt Dannatt: 07795 447 296

If the call isn’t answered straight away, please leave a voicemail with clear information and contact details and the team will respond as soon as possible.

 Further questions

If you have any queries or concerns, then please speak to your line manager or alternatively contact the People Services team on the details below.

  01205 319 623

  Further updates

Communication updates will be issued on a regular basis, via email and on this page –

 Workplace Facebook

Workplace Facebook is a fundamental tool for colleagues to use to stay updated, keep in touch and continue to virtually work as one team. 

If you have not already activated an account on Workplace Facebook, please take this opportunity to do so as soon as possible. A dedicated group will be set up for all Coronavirus-related communications in the coming days.

If you need any support with using Workplace Facebook, please contact the Communications team.

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