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Coronavirus staff guidance University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust


Last updated: 12 April 2022 at 12:37

Guidelines for staff following a positive COVID-19 result

If a staff member receives a positive test result for COVID-19, they must stay away from work.

  • Government guidance recommends that they should stay at home and avoid contact with other people
  • This isolation period includes the day the symptoms started, or the day the test was taken if they do not have symptoms
  • Staff working anywhere in the NHS are still required to stay away from work for a minimum of five days following a positive result, and are required to take a lateral flow (LFT) test on the fifth day and sixth day of their isolation period (24 hours apart)
  • If both these LFT test results are negative on days five and six then the member of staff may return to work at this point. The staff member should also not have any COVID-19 symptoms. This period of isolation will be paid as special leave
  • For staff who are testing negative on day five and six, but are reporting to remain symptomatic and/or unfit to return, then their isolation period will end on day five and a new sickness absence episode will commence on day six in accordance with the Trust’s Sickness Absence and Attendance Procedure
  • If the member of staff feels well enough to work from home and is able to carry out work from home (as agreed with their line manager) then this should be accommodated until such time that the employee can return to work
  • For staff who continue to test positive, the special leave will continue up until day 10. After that, if the individual is well enough to work, they should return to work even if they are still reporting positive COVID tests as they will have passed the infectious period that requires isolation
  • If the member of staff feels unwell after the 10th day and is unable to return to work, as there is no longer an isolation requirement, paid special leave would end and a new period of sickness absence will commence. This will be paid in accordance with contractual sick pay and will be managed in accordance with the Trust’s Sickness Absence and Attendance Procedure
  • Staff must also continue to comply with all relevant infection control precautions and PPE must be worn properly throughout the day

If the staff member who is returning on day six works with patients or residents who are especially vulnerable to COVID-19, a risk assessment should be undertaken by the divisional/department management and consideration should be given to short-term redeployment to lower-risk duties for the remainder of the full 10-day period.

Close contacts

Staff who have a positive household contact are not required to isolate, if they remain negative, but must take a LFT for 10 consecutive days. Any staff who have virus-like symptoms, should do a daily LFT for five days, and only come to work if their LFT remains negative and they feel well enough.

Individual risk assessments

The Trust’s COVID-19 staff risk assessment process remains valid and does not need to be repeated unless a member of staff feels that their individual health circumstances have changed significantly, in which case the existing risk matrix should be updated in discussion with their line manager.

Staff should adhere to the guidance about risk mitigation such as the level of PPE that should be worn, avoidance of risk factors, social distancing etc, as well as compliance with the Trust general IPC guidelines.

Further information about PPE is available from the PPE support group.


Vaccination is an important part of your protection and risk reduction, and is accessible to all.

You can visit any number of community vaccination sites for first, second or booster vaccinations. Please see the Birmingham and Solihull COVID-19 Vaccination Service website for details.

Further advice

If you are uncertain about any of the above guidance, please contact Occupational Health via switchboard.


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