Policy Statement on COVID-19

Overview (06/08/2020)

Dear Trainees and Faculty,

We sincerely hope that you are staying safe during these difficult times.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, which became fully-fledged in the UK in mid-March 2020, our primary obligation and responsibility has been towards the wellbeing of all individuals in our society, particularly our patients. Indeed, the health and wellbeing of all healthcare professionals, essential staff and support workers should not be compromised or taken for granted. Within the context of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, we also appreciate that continued education and training are imperative for healthcare professionals to serve the public to the best of their ability.

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 in the UK, Ireland, Europe and Asia. 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:

In addition, we are reviewing the situation on a daily basis in line with the guidelines issued by the UK Government, the WHO, hospitals and the UK Royal Colleges. We are continuing 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 our training and educational events.

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.

UK Specific Guidance (06/08/2020)

 Based on the above, the following types of events stand suspended until further notice:

  1. Events/courses that have more than 20 delegates.
  2. Events/courses with >12 delegates in which close interaction between the delegates and faculty is required (e.g., hands-on skills, workshops).
  3. Events/courses that require patients (of any age).
  4. Events/courses that require simulated patients/actors who are more than 60 years of age and/or immunocompromised.
  5. Events/courses that require faculty who are more than 60 years of age and/or immunocompromised.
  6. Events that require human cadaver or fresh frozen cadaver for teaching or demonstration purposes.
  7. Events/courses conducted at a venue that is within a clinical premise and/or within 50 metres of a clinical area.
  8. Events/courses conducted at a venue that has to be accessed through a clinical area.
  9. Events/courses conducted at a venue that does not have a separate entrance to that used by patients.
  10. Events/courses conducted at venues that are not independent buildings and, as such, provide direct access into a hospital.
  11. Events/courses that will generate additional and non-essential footfall within a hospital.
  12. 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.

UK SPECIFIC - THE 15-POINT GREEN GUIDE

 Only events/courses that fulfil ALL of the following criteria will be considered safe, suitable and appropriate to be conducted during the period of the COVID-19 outbreak: 

  1. The event/course is structured in a manner to minimise delegate-to-delegate and delegate-to-faculty contact.
  2. All teaching/appraisals/vivas carried out have a distance of 1.5 metres between delegate(s) and faculty.
  3. The event/course has less than 20 delegates.
  4. If an event/course requires interaction between the delegates and faculty (e.g., hands-on skills, workshops), it is limited to 12 delegates.
  5. Patients of any age are not involved.
  6. Simulated patients/actors who are more than 60 years of age and/or immunocompromised are not involved.
  7. All faculty are less than 60 years of age.
  8. 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 individual will be apprised not to attend the event/course).
  9. The event/course does not require human cadaver or fresh frozen cadaver for teaching or demonstration purposes.
  10. The venue is not within a clinical premise and is at least 50 metres away from a clinical area.
  11. The venue can be accessed without entering a clinical area and it has a separate entrance to that used by patients.
  12. The venue is an independent building that does not provide direct access into a hospital.
  13. The event/course will not generate additional and non-essential footfall within a hospital.
  14. 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.
  15. 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
UK SPECIFIC - THE 15-POINT RED GUIDE

 If an event, course or training programme fulfils ANY of the following criteria, it CANNOT be conducted during the period of the COVID-19 outbreak:

  1. Event(s)/course(s) that have more than 20 delegates.
  2. Event(s)/course(s) with >12 delegates in which close interaction between the delegates and faculty is required (e.g., hands-on skills courses, workshops).
  3. Event(s)/course(s) that have a delegate or delegates more than 60 years of age and/or immunocompromised (delegate(s) >60 years of age and/or immunocompromised must be excluded).
  4. Event(s)/course(s) that require patients (of any age).
  5. Event(s)/course(s) that require simulated patients/actors who are more than 60 years of age and/or immunocompromised.
  6. Event(s)/course(s) that require faculty who are more than 60 years of age and/or immunocompromised.
  7. A delegate, faculty or organiser is missing his/her clinical commitments or on-call shifts, and clinical commitment is compromised in some form. In such instances, the individual delegate, faculty or organiser must be advised not to attend.
  8. Event(s)/course(s) that require human cadaver or fresh frozen cadaver for teaching or demonstration purposes.
  9. Event(s)/course(s) conducted at a venue that is within a clinical premise and/or within 50 metres of a clinical area.
  10. Event(s)/course(s) conducted at a venue that has to be accessed through a clinical area.
  11. Event(s)/course(s) conducted at a venue that does not have a separate entrance to that used by patients.
  12. Event(s)/course(s) conducted at venues that are not independent buildings and, as such, provide direct access into a hospital.
  13. Event(s)/course(s) that will generate additional and non-essential footfall within a hospital.
  14. Event(s)/course(s) that will require the delegates, faculty or organisers to access a hospital canteen/restaurant/coffee area, or toilets/bathrooms/restrooms within a hospital.
  15. Any delegate, faculty, volunteer or organiser who manifests any of the following symptoms within 24 hours before the start of the event/course (the individual must be apprised not to attend):
    • Persistent dry cough
    • Persistent productive cough
    • Temperature >37.8 degree centigrade
    • Flu-like symptoms
MANDATORY CRITERIA AND RECOMMENDATIONS

All attending delegates, teaching faculty and organisers MUST fulfil the following criteria and MUST abide by the recommendations stated below. 

  1. Upon arrival, the delegates, faculty and organisers must agree to and sign the mandatory criteria and recommendations outlined here.
  2. Any delegate, faculty or organiser who entered the UK within the last 14 days is prohibited from attending the event/course.
  3. Any delegate, faculty or organiser who has visited any part of Asia, Europe, Latin America or North America within the last 14 days is prohibited from attending the event/course.
  4. Any delegate, faculty or organiser who has undertaken a cruise of any description within the last 28 days is prohibited from attending the event/course.
  5. Any delegate, faculty or organiser who is more than 60 years of age and/or immunocompromised is prohibited from attending the event/course.
  6. Hand shaking is prohibited.
  7. Social hugging is prohibited.
  8. All delegates, faculty and organisers must maintain the recommended social distance (1.5 metres) between one another at all times.
  9. Hand sanitiser, which will be provided in all areas of the premise, should be used liberally.
  10. All delegates, faculty and organisers are mandated to wash their hands regularly.
  11. All delegates, faculty and organisers should follow good respiratory hygiene, which 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.
  12. Wearing a face mask is highly recommended.
  13. Sharing food is prohibited.
  14. Only disposable cups, plates and cutlery should be used, and these should be disposed of after each use.
  15. Attendees are required to report any behaviour that breaches these precautions to a member of the organising team on the day.

The above measures have been put in place in order to prioritise the health and wellbeing of all concerned. 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.

Read Full Policy Statement on COVID-19

POLICY STATEMENT
on
COVID-19