After the appointment – Test and Trace
(The following information was adapted from the British Acupuncture Council Guidelines document, “Novel Coronavirus Covid – 19 : Guidelines for Returning to Work”)
On 27 May 2020, the government officially launched their test and trace scheme.
What is the new procedure?
If someone develops one of the three cardinal symptoms of Covid-19 they are strongly advised by the government to get tested.
If the test comes back positive, they will be contacted by the test and trace service and asked
- to self-isolate for at least ten days
- to provide a list of all people with whom they have had ‘close contact’ in the period of 48 hours before symptoms appeared until the present moment and also to provide their contact details (email or phone).
The NHS test and trace service will then proceed to inform those who have had ‘close contact’ to self-isolate for 14 days from their last time of contact with the original person.
What does it mean for clinical practice?
If a PATIENT develops symptoms:
- You will already have asked the patient to contact you when they are symptomatic in this case. Should they follow this instruction and inform you, and you also confirm that they had ‘close contact’ with you under 48 hours prior to their symptoms starting, you must cease work and self-isolate. You may want to remind the patient at this stage that they should get tested as soon as possible. Your ability to return to work is directly contingent on them acting swiftly to get tested and inform you of the result.
- The patient should request a test.
If a patient tests positive
- The patient should inform their practitioner straight away. If this is the case, the practitioner must continue self-isolation until a total of 14 days from the point of contact with the patient.
- The patient will provide your name and contact details to the test and trace service, whereupon you will be contacted and told to self-isolate for 14 days from the last point of contact with them.
If the patient tests negative
- The patient should inform you straight away. If this is the case, you may return to work.
If a PRACTITIONER develops symptoms
They must follow the procedure below.
As soon as they develop any symptoms:
- They must immediately stop work and self-isolate for ten days
- The government recommends that they contact all those who they have had ‘close
contact’ with in the 48 hours prior to developing symptoms. Your practitioner should tell you that they might have coronavirus but are waiting for a test result. At this stage (until the test result is known) you do not need to self-isolate but should take extra care in practising social distancing and good hygiene, like washing your hands regularly and using hand sanitiser. You should also watch out for your own symptoms.
- Your practitioner must request a test from the government.
If you practitioner tests positive
- They will be contacted by the test and trace service and asked to provide contact details of all of those they have had ‘close contact’ with. This will include all patients that they have had ‘close contact’ with in the 48 hours before their symptoms started. The test and trace service will then contact you to tell you to self – isolate.
- Your practitioner will continue their self-isolation for ten days from the start of symptoms
If you practitioner tests negative
- They must inform all those that they contacted and inform them that their test was negative.
- Your practitioner may resume work
( Statement updated in line with Government guidelines from 30/07/2020 )