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Covid-19

Doctor with mask

All healthcare staff can now access the NHS Wales Staff Wellbeing Covid-19 webpages which provides a range of health and wellbeing resources to support staff at this difficult time. The HEIW Covid-19 Workforce Resource contains links to workforce planning guidance from the four nations and regulators and acts as a useful compendium of available workforce planning guidance as part of the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are actively involved in the emergency planning response to the current Covid-19 public health emergency. Our priority at this time is to use our expertise and resources to support our frontline NHS services in light of the increasing demands from the pandemic, and to maintain the safety and wellbeing of our staff and our learners across Wales.

HEIW staff are working from home and making the best use of technology to carry on our business as a virtual organisation. We have reviewed our IMTP and work programmes and have paused all non-essential work to focus on business continuity and support the Covid-19 response.

For further information on what we are doing to support students, trainees and the wider NHS at this time please see below and the relevant corresponding pages.

Increasing and supporting the workforce

Working closely with regulators and partners, we are exploring and actioning various options on how we might increase and support the regulated workforce to support healthcare services during this period.

Additional information:

How everyone can help reduce the risk of catching or spreading Covid-19

To protect yourself and other people:

  • maintain social distancing of two metres, including when outdoors
  • wear a face covering in all indoor public places
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing guidance can be found on the World Health Organization website.
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • work from home if you can.

See full guidelines from Welsh Government here.

What to do if you have symptoms of Covid-19

You should self-isolate and apply for a Covid-19 test if you develop:

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means you've started coughing repeatedly
  • the loss of or change to sense of smell or taste.

How long to self-isolate

  • If you have Covid-19 symptoms, however mild, stay at home for 10 days from when your symptoms started and apply for a test. If the test comes back negative you can stop self-isolating.
  • If you test positive for Covid-19 you need to self-isolate for 10 days, even if you have no symptoms.
  • If you live with someone or someone from your extended household develops symptoms, all household members must self-isolate for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the household developed symptoms.
  • If you have been contacted by Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) to confirm you have been in close contact with someone who has Covid-19, you must self-isolate for 14 days. Even if you have a test and it is negative you must still self-isolate for 14 days. This is because you are a close contact of someone who has Covid-19 and the virus can take time to show in your system.

If you need to stay at home follow this guidance for households with possible coronavirus.

The COVID-19 online symptom checker (on NHS 111 Wales) can tell you if you need medical help. Use the service if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home or your condition gets worse. If you do not have internet access, call 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

Information

There is a lot of information being shared at this time, please remember to follow advice and guidance from trusted sources such as NHS 111 Wales, Welsh Government, HEIW, NHS Health Boards and Trusts, World Health Organization, Public Health Wales.

During outbreaks Public Health Wales (PHW) lead the response on behalf of NHS Wales providing daily updates, information and advice. For the latest official update and most up to date information and advice please visit the Public Health Wales website.