Health Care HR Ltd provides and maintains a healthy and safe environment for all Staff this is outlined in the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Policy
“Candidate” means the person introduced by the agency to a client for a permanent or fixed-term engagement
“Staff” means the direct employee of Health Care HR Ltd
“Temporary Worker” means the individual who is introduced by the employment business to render services to the client, including limited company contractors
“Visitor” any person visiting the premises who is not otherwise a Candidate, Staff or a Temporary Worker
What is an infectious disease?
An infectious disease is caused by organisms such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites which enter and reproduce in the body and can then cause harmful effects. Infectious diseases such as meningitis and influenza can be spread directly or indirectly from one human being to another.
It is the policy of Health Care HR Ltd to provide and maintain a healthy and safe environment for all Staff, Temporary Workers, Candidates and Visitors and Health Care HR Ltd is committed to minimising the risk of contracting an infectious disease.
Temporary Workers and Candidates
Where the client has their own policy regarding infectious disease control Health Care HR Ltd will ensure that all Temporary Workers supplied to that client are provided with a copy and all Temporary Workers will follow that policy and any advice and guidelines within it. For Candidates, once employment commences you will be subject to your employer’s policies where applicable.
Health Care HR Ltd has ultimate responsibility to ensure that the information and guidance within this policy is communicated to all Staff, Temporary Workers, Candidates and Visitors and that the information and any actions necessary are understood and complied with.
Duty of Care
All Staff, Temporary Workers, Candidates and Visitors with an infectious disease are reminded that you also have a duty of care to others. In order to help minimise the potential risk of transmission to others it is expected that you will inform Lyall Cardis, Director immediately if you are suspected of having an infectious disease or have an infectious disease.
Where a member of Staff at Health Care HR Ltd is contacted or informed that another member of Staff or a Temporary Worker has a suspected infectious disease it must be reported immediately to Lyall Cardis, director. Failure to report this information could result in disciplinary action.
If any member of Staff or Temporary Worker has or is suspected of having an infectious disease they will be isolated where possible or sent home and referred to a doctor or other medical professional as appropriate; to seek medical advice immediately. NHS Direct can be called at any time for advice on 0845 4647.
Notifiable infectious diseases
Under the Public Health (Infectious Disease) Regulations 1988 it is the duty of the medical practitioner attending the patient to notify the local offices of both the Health Protection Agency and Health Protection Unit the diagnosis or suspected diagnosis of a notifiable infectious disease. A list of notifiable infectious diseases can be found from the following link: www.hpa.org.uk
The Department of Health advise that the likely signs and symptoms of swine flu will be similar to those of seasonal flu, but they may be more severe and cause more serious complications. The most significant symptoms are the sudden onset of:
- cough or shortness of breath
Other symptoms may include:
- aching muscles
- sore throat
- runny nose
- loss of appetite
The incubation period (the time between contact with the virus and the onset of the symptoms): range from one to four days, but for most it will be two to three days.
The infectious period (how long you are infectious to others): people are the most infectious soon after they develop the symptoms and this can continue to spread for up to five days. Once the symptoms are gone, they are considered to be no longer infectious to others.
Swine flu will spread from person to person in close contact, for example the coughing or sneezing by an infected person near another, the touching or shaking the hand of an infected person and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose or by the touching of surfaces or objects that have become contaminated with the flu virus e.g. door handles, telephones and computer mouse and keyboards.
It is very difficult to know in advance the severity of any infectious disease and how it might impact the business, however due regard must be given to:
- Identifying the critical business activities which are essential to maintain during Staff shortages;
- The cross-training of Staff and Temporary Workers in the event of shortages in certain areas;
- Avoiding unnecessary travel;
- Consider telephone meetings opposed to face to face meetings;
- Improved access to hand hygiene facilities;
- Increased frequency of cleaning of premises and workstations;
- Consider flexible or home working for Staff
As a method of protection all Staff and Temporary Workers are expected to use tissues to cover their nose and mouth while coughing and sneezing, dispose of the tissue and then wash their hands. You should not reuse tissues as this increases the risk of further spread.
Individuals should clean their hands frequently, especially after coughing or sneezing. No special cleaning products are required, soap and water are effective and alcohol based handrubs can also be used. It is also advisable to clean down workstations and surfaces frequently touched by hands.
This policy will be reviewed regularly and may be altered from time to time in light of legislative changes or other prevailing circumstances.
This policy for infectious diseases is one of a general nature and no guarantee that it will meet your specific requirements is given either expressly or impliedly.