COVID-19 Update: Risk Reduction Framework for NHS staff at risk of COVID-19 infection

From the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic there has been a focus on trying to identify those who might be at greatest risk of infection or adverse outcomes, including recent concerns about deaths amongst healthcare workers from a black and minority ethnic background.

FOM was included in an expert working group led by Prof Kamlesh Khunti to consider a Risk Reduction Framework for NHS staff at risk of COVID-19 infection.

This is a consensus document resulting from robust discussion amongst a wide range of experts in this field, aiming to better protect our workforce and maximise the ability of the NHS to deal with current pressures. Implementation would require significant support to assist with planning and provision of occupational health assessments. The document does not represent the individual viewpoint of any of the members of the group – it is a consensus, reflecting differing perspectives on a very complex situation. Trusts will need specialist occupational health support and advice to apply the guidance fairly. This is the first attempt to create such a Risk Reduction Framework with currently available evidence and the Framework will be reviewed and updated in light of any new evidence. It is however important to acknowledge that this area is continuously evolving and this framework provides a baseline but remains fluid.

Dr Anne de Bono
President, Faculty of Occupational Medicine