Further to last Friday’s update, as indicated advice surrounding Covid-19 changes at a rapid pace and these changes can be daily. SLT appreciates that there has been a lot of information shared to date and we do try to make updates weekly wherever possible. However over the weekend further information has been received, so SLT is providing a further update now as follows.
1. Staff Survey – Volunteering across the Council
Please see below message for Councillor Andrew Morgan and Chris Bradshaw.
Note to all staff
Please can we express our thanks to you all for the work you have carried out during the past three weeks, in responding to the Corona virus. We are all contributing to a national effort to save as many lives in our communities as possible, whether that is providing key frontline services, supporting vulnerable people in their own homes, providing childcare to enable NHS and other essential staff to undertake their key duties, keeping children and others safe, or working from home, and staying safe.
The next few weeks and months will continue to be difficult and we should expect further action from the UK Government to reduce the spread of the virus. This is the greatest humanitarian crisis we have experienced in our time and we are sure that we will all pull together and do what is required to protect the NHS and support our medical profession to save lives in all our homes and communities. The greatest impact we can all have is to follow the physical distancing guidelines of two metres whenever possible, avoid unnecessary journeys and wherever possible remain at home.
The NHS has identified 15,000 residents of Rhondda Cynon Taf that are either over 70, have underlying health conditions or are pregnant, that should self-isolate for at least 12 weeks. All 15,000 will receive a letter shortly, and some of these individuals will not have family and friends that they can rely upon to provide food, collect medicines, have a chat, or walk the dog. We will shortly be sending out a survey to all Council staff asking for volunteers to change their role and come forward and support community volunteers to help these vulnerable people. So for example, you may currently be a HR officer, an administrator, a teacher, a teaching assistant, a finance officer or one of many other occupations in the Council who in the coming weeks will be working from home, and you would be willing to help coordinate and support this initiative. If you do, we look forward to hearing from you.
Please keep safe and follow the Government’s guidelines.
Andrew Morgan – Leader of the Council & Chris Bradshaw – Chief Executive
Complete the RCT Redeployment Survey
2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Following on from the previous information on PPE, advice had listed ‘plastic sleeves’ as one of the enhanced PPE requirements. The updated information we had on weekend no longer lists sleeves so the guidance in respect of enhanced PPE is now:
i) Disposable gloves,
ii) Disposable plastic aprons
iii) Face Masks
3. Staff aged 70 plus, suffering with an underlying medical condition or are pregnant
You will be aware that staff aged 70 plus, suffering with an underlying medical condition or are pregnant are to refrain from work, albeit that where homeworking is available staff will be able to carry on working unless unwell. However, the list of medical exclusions has been recently been updated so please could staff refer to the below updated list:
i) aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
ii) under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below:
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
- people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
Ø people on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
Ø solid organ transplant recipients.
- people with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell),
- people with severe respiratory conditions including cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD,
Ø People with specific cancers:
- people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
- people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
- people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
- people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
- people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
iii) those who are pregnant
4. Annual Leave
As per the last update, in respect of annual leave, normal rules apply and staff can take leave with the agreement of their manager but clearly they would not then be available to undertake work, including home working. In addition, the Government has recently announced (27th March 2020) that employees who have not taken all of their statutory annual leave entitlement, due to COVID-19 will now be able to carry it over into the next 2 leave years. Regulations to allow this to happen have now been released and we will provide further detail once we have reviewed the legislation in full. Until that updated is provided, we would appreciate it if staff could not submit requests for carry-over of leave.
Please can you ensure that this message is shared with all staff, as many will not necessarily have access to emails.
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