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The Health Landscape

Test, Trace and Protect Guidance

Following increasing cases of Covid-19 in community pharmacies across Wales, the following guidance and information has been created jointly by LHBs, WG and CPW for contractors, we advise all contractors to review it urgently to ensure they are not adversely affected:

 
 

TTP scenario:

  • When a Positive case is identified by testing teams, they must continue to self-isolate as advised.
  • TTP team will be notified by the centralised testing database
  • The positive case will be contacted by the TTP team
  • TTP will contact any team members if they are considered a potential contact dependent on the answers provided by the positive case.  (Check with your employer if you should provide details of individual staff members or a contact for the company who can identify contacts)
  • This may take up to 48 hour or in exceptional circumstances >72 hours before all potential contacts  are contacted by TTP
  • Therefore before you or the team are contacted you should consider the information below on definitions of contact:
    • If you feel any team members could be considered as a contact as defined then you should advise that this member of staff should go home to self-isolate and await a call from TTP.
    • If you have followed all advised IPC procedures (e.g. hand hygiene, use of communal spaces), social distancing measures and correctly adhered to IPC & PPE guidance (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-infection-prevention-and-control)  in the pharmacy, you and the team will not be regarded as a contact by TTP. However, TTP will assess each case on individual merit.
  • It is important for all staff members to consider their actions both inside and outside of work and always ensure the appropriate IPC and PPE guidance is followed. This includes following guidance during break and lunch times.
  • Any disruption to essential service provision should be reported to the Health Board as soon as possible
  • You should use the pharmacy status escalation tool on NECAF to update your status if workload is affected due to any members of staff self-isolating
  • Review and implement your business continuity plans  and where appropriate involve your LHB  who will be able to offer advice and in some cases additional support.
  • Teams may wish to review the following information with respect to the use of the TTP app whilst in work:
https://faq.covid19.nhs.uk/article/KA-01126/en-us
https://faq.covid19.nhs.uk/article/KA-01121/en-us?parentid=CAT-01031&rootid=CAT-01023
 

Test, Trace and Protect (TTP)

 
If you or a team member test POSITIVE, in line with the Welsh Government’s Test, Trace, Protect Strategy you will be contacted by a member of the TTP team to help identify any individuals you have been in close contact with - beginning up to two days before you started having symptoms and asking them to take precautions and self-isolate (for 10 days).
 
You will be asked to share details of contacts you may or may not live with, and with whom you have been in close proximity on any occasion during a period beginning up to 2 days before you started experiencing symptoms.
 
Contact criteria
A contact is a person who, in the period 48 hours prior to and 7 days after the case’s symptom onset or specimen collection date (if case was asymptomatic), had at least one of the following types of contact with the case:
A household contact is somebody who lives in the same household as a case.
A direct contact is a person who has:
  • Been within 1 metre of the index case and has been coughed on, had a face-to-face conversation, had skin-to-skin physical contact, or has been in other forms of contact within 1 metre for 1 minute or longer.
A proximity contact is a person who has:
  • Been within 2 metres of the index case for more than 15 minutes. This can be cumulative – added from a few encounters, not necessarily all at once;
  • Travelled in a car with – or in a plane near- the case.
This contact needs to have occurred during the period of time the case was considered to be most infectious (48 hours before the case started to have symptoms until 7 days after the case started to have symptoms/ or from the date a swab was taken, if asymptomatic).
People working in professional roles who have correctly used personal protective equipment (PPE) or work behind an appropriate screen or partition (e.g. a Perspex screen) are not regarded as a contact for those purposes.
If, however, they have not worn appropriate PPE, they are considered as a non-household contact (direct or proximity contact).
 
Please be aware that currently vaccination status does not affect whether someone would be considered a contact or not.
 
Also, the use of Lateral Flow Tests with a negative result does not mean that the contact can leave the house if they have been told to self-isolate by TTP.

 

What are the implications of TTP for Community Pharmacy?

  • There is a potential risk for TTP to significantly disrupt business continuity in community pharmacy and we advise regular reviews of your pharmacy Business Continuity plans  
 
The risks can be mitigated by strict adherence to guidance for:
  • PPE
  • Physical distancing in and outside of clinical environments
  • Rostering staff to work within teams
 
Particular attention must be paid to maintaining physical distance during break and lunch times and outside of working hours.
 
More information can be found at
https://gov.wales/test-trace-protect-html   
https://gov.wales/test-trace-protect-your-questions#section-42186
https://faq.covid19.nhs.uk/article/KA-01126/en-us
https://faq.covid19.nhs.uk/article/KA-01121/en-us?parentid=CAT-01031&rootid=CAT-01023
 
 

PPE Reminders:
 

  • Please ensure staff arrive at the pharmacy wearing a mask so they are protected from the start of their working day. (Masks worn should be fluid resistant surgical masks and not reusable cotton masks etc.)
  • If a member of staff cannot wear a mask for medical reasons they should maintain 2m social distancing at all times (or they may be considered a contact should any other member of staff or patient become positive or all members of the team maybe flagged as proximity contacts if the exempt staff member tests positive) please ensure all team members have been appropriately risk assessed.
  • Remember that PPE should be worn at all times whenever 2m social distancing cannot be maintained – this includes breaks.
  • Please be reminded that wearing protective visors alone will not be classed as appropriate PPE, all teams should review the WG IPC/ PPE guidance
  •