At this time of a pandemic, our primary obligation and responsibility is towards the wellbeing of all individuals in our society, particularly our patients. Indeed, the health and wellbeing of all healthcare professionals should not be compromised or taken for granted. Within context of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, we also appreciate that continued education and training are imperative for the healthcare professionals to serve the people to the best of their abilities.
We are continuing to receive a large number of requests from many healthcare professionals from different specialities and grades to attend our well-reputed educational and training events. We have been closely monitoring the situation since the first outbreak in early January in Asia and soon after in Europe. We have been seeking guidance from the local governments with regards to travel and training events/courses for healthcare professionals. The directives and guidelines we are following for decision making are as follows:
- Public Health England, UK
- Department of Health and Social Care, UK
- NHS, UK
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
- WHO COVID-19 Travel Advice
- Department of Health and Health Protection Surveillance Centre, Ireland
- Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India
In addition, we are reviewing the situation on a daily basis, in line with the guidelines issued by the UK Government, the WHO, the hospitals and the UK Royal Colleges. We will continue to proactively monitor, evaluate and respond to the impact of the virus, prioritising the safety and needs of delegates, faculty, volunteers, and all those involved in the organisation of the course.
There is no "one-size-fits-all" solution to this complex and unprecedented global situation. We are considering each course and each training event on its own merit, following a robust risk assessment and feasibility study for every event before it is deemed safe, suitable and appropriate to be conducted anywhere in the world.
The 15-Point Red Guide
The following types of events stand suspended until further notice:
- Events/courses that have a delegate, faculty or organiser who entered the UK within the last 14 days (the individual must be excluded).
- Events/courses that have a delegate, faculty or organiser who has visited any part of Asia, Europe, Latin America or North America within the last 14 days (the individual must be excluded).
- Events/courses that have a delegate, faculty or organiser who has undertaken a cruise of any description within the last 28 days (the individual must be excluded).
- Events/courses that have more than 4 delegates.
- Events/courses that have a delegate or delegates more than 70 years of age and/or immunocompromised (delegate(s) >70 years of age and/or immunocompromised must be excluded).
- Events/courses with >2 delegates in which close interaction between the delegates and faculty is required (e.g., hands-on skills, workshops).
- Events/courses that require patients (of any age).
- Events/courses that require simulated patients/actors who are more than 70 years of age and/or immunocompromised.
- Events/courses that require faculty who are more than 70 years of age and/or immunocompromised.
- Events that require animal tissue.
- Events/courses conducted at a venue that is within a clinical premise and/or within 40 metres of a clinical area.
- Events/courses conducted at a venue that has to be accessed through a clinical area.
- Events/courses conducted at a venue that does not have a separate entrance to that used by patients.
- Events/courses conducted at venues that are not independent buildings and, as such, provide direct access into a hospital.
- Events/courses that will require the delegates, faculty or organisers to access a hospital canteen/restaurant/coffee area, or toilets/bathrooms/restrooms within a hospital.
Any event/course that needs to be conducted during the period of the COVID-19 outbreak must not fall under any of the above criteria.
Only events/courses that fulfil ALL of the following criteria will beconsidered safe, suitable and appropriate to be conducted during the period of the COVID-19 outbreak. Due to the fluidity of the situation, we are constantly re-evaluating this guide. Kindly be advised that the following criteria are subject to change, as and when the situation evolves.
- No delegate, faculty or organiser has entered the UK within the last 14 days.
- No delegate, faculty or organiser has visited any part of Asia, Europe, Latin America or North America within the last 14 days or has undertaken a cruise of any description within the last 28 days.
- The event/course is structured in a manner to minimise delegate-to-delegate and delegate-to-faculty contact.
- All teaching/appraisals/vivas carried out will have a distance of one metre between the delegate(s) and the faculty .
- The event/course has less than 4 delegates.
- If an event/course requires interaction between the delegates and faculty (e.g., hands-on skills, workshops), then it is limited to 2 delegates.
- No delegate faculty, organiser, or simulated patient/actor attending the event/course is more than 70 years of age and/or immunocompromised.
- Patients of any age are not involved.
- No delegate, faculty or organiser is missing his/her clinical commitments or on-call shifts, and he/she has ensured that no clinical work is compromised in any form.
- The event/course does not require animal tissue.
- The venue is not within a clinical premise and is at least 40 metres away from a clinical area.
- The venue can be accessed without entering a clinical area and has a separate entrance to that used by patients .
- The venue is an independent building that does not provide direct access into a hospital and will not generate additional footfall within a hospital.
- The event/course will not require the delegates, faculty or organisers to access a hospital canteen/restaurant/coffee area or toilets/bathrooms/restrooms within a hospital.
- Any delegate, faculty, volunteer or organiser who manifests any of the following symptoms within 24 hours before the start of the event/course has been apprised not to attend:
- Persistent dry cough
- Persistent productive cough
- Temperature >37.8 degree centigrade
- Flu-like symptoms
All attending delegates, teaching faculty and organisers must fulfil the following criteria and must abide by the following:
- Upon arrival, the delegates, faculty and organisers entering the premises must sign the 15-Point Green Guide.
- Hand shaking is prohibited.
- Social hugging is prohibited.
- All delegates, faculty and organisers must maintain the recommended social distance between one another at all times.
- Hand sanitiser that will be provided in all areas of the premise should be used liberally.
- All delegates, faculty and organisers are mandated to wash their hands regularly.
- All delegates, faculty and organisers should follow good respiratory hygiene that includes covering their mouth and nose with a bent elbow or using a tissue when they cough or sneeze. The tissue should be disposed of immediately.
- Attendees are required to report any behaviour that breaches these precautions to a member of the organising team on the day.
The above measures are put in place in order to prioritise the health and wellbeing of all concerned although we acknowledge that robust training and education are imperative for healthcare professionals to remain abreast of scientific knowledge and skills in order to better serve society. We will continue to review the situation on a daily basis and ensure that you are kept informed as it evolves.
Our thoughts are with our delegates and faculty as they strive to protect the nation at this challenging time.
Thank you very much for your cooperation and understanding in this regard. We wish you good health in this difficult and unprecedented period.
Read Full Policy Statement on COVID-19