Page last updated: 1 June, 2020, 12:24pm
Risk assessments for BAME staff
Staff at increased risk from COVID-19
The government has issued guidance on stringent social distancing for clinically vulnerable people, and guidance on shielding for people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable from COVID-19. Staff who fall into these categories should not see patients face to face.
Remote working should be prioritised for staff at increased risk from COVID-19. GP practices should support these staff to follow stringent social distancing requirements if they are not able to work from home (i.e. stay more than 2 metres away from others). Staff who are extremely clinically vulnerable from COVID-19 (shielded staff) should work from home with all possible support in place
As practices will have staff from BAME backgrounds, we want to ensure that you have access to the guidance that will support you in carrying out risk assessments and having sensitive conversations. In addition, there is also guidance available for all vulnerable staff including staff returning to work for the NHS, and existing team members who are potentially more at risk due to their race and ethnicity, age, weight, underlying health conditions, disability, or pregnancy.
Risk reduction framework for NHS staff at risk of COVID-19 infection
Commissioned by the chief people officer and chief executive for NHS England, an independent group of clinical academics and other doctors, led by Professor Kamlesh Khunti from Leicester University, has reviewed the present evidence regarding the impact of COVID-19 on BME communities.
This paper is published with the support of NHS England to help inform the risk assessment you are carrying out, to better inform your consideration of the particular risks and concerns of your BME team members.
Safety Assessment and Decision (SAAD) Score (2)
The system has been developed for all staff within General Practice including both clinical and non-clinical staff. This is also applicable to all ethnicities within the practice.
RIDDOR reporting of COVID-19
You must make a Report under RIDDOR (The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013) when:
• an unintended incident at work has led to someone’s possible or actual exposure to coronavirus. This must be reported as a dangerous occurrence.
• a worker has been diagnosed as having COVID 19 and there is reasonable evidence that it was caused by exposure at work. This must be reported as a case of disease.
• a worker dies as a result of occupational exposure to coronavirus.
Advice and Support
Each CCG and provider organisation should have nominated an individual to lead on the BAME nursing and midwifery agenda. These individuals, along with members of your Equality & Diversity Committee/HR colleagues will assist you in supporting your BAME colleagues. The CCG Freedom to Speak Up Guardians will help you ensure that all staff feel able and empowered to raise concerns safely.
Should you have any queries regarding staff risk assessments or would like a confidential discussion please contact the Workforce team via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Guidance from NHS Employers
To support employers in carrying out risk assessments for vulnerable groups, including BME staff, two new resources have been developed.
- A risk reduction framework for NHS staff at risk of COVID-19 infection to help inform risk assessments and the particular risks and concerns of BME NHS staff.
- New guidance from The Royal College of Psychiatrists on carrying out risk assessments of BME staff in mental healthcare settings.