Health and wellbeing
As lockdown continues to ease in England, we are slowly returning to activity on our two campuses. We are working in a carefully managed way to put in place a range of measures and procedures to ensure that our campuses remain as safe as possible for everyone.
Whilst the default position remains to work from home if you can, for most colleagues, next academic year will involve a fusion of home working and on campus activity. We therefore all need to be familiar and comfortable with arrangements on our campuses.
Stay safe, protect others across our community and help prevent a second wave
We want everyone on our campuses to feel safe whatever they are doing. The University is committed to ensuring your safety and you have a part to play too. Respect our social distancing requirements. Wash your hands thoroughly and frequently. Wear a face covering when required.
To stay safe and protect others we all have a responsibility to minimise the opportunity for the virus to spread. If there is a second wave then we will very likely return to lockdown measures and perhaps see an even stricter set of restrictions than before. We should all feel comfortable to politely challenge anyone that is behaving irresponsibly, it’s okay to say if it’s not okay.
Please be courteous and considerate to others at all times. Some members of our community may have specific health issues or needs that may not be immediately obvious and this could make wearing a face covering and social distancing more difficult for them.
The most effective way to protect yourself and others from infection is to follow social distancing rules, avoid touching surfaces and your face, and wash your hands regularly. Face coverings are not a substitute for these measures, but the UK Government is now advising that people should, where possible, wear a face covering in certain situations and environments. We are regularly monitoring and aligning our approach with official advice.
We are putting in place a range of measures to support social distancing across our campuses. These include one-way systems in building, limits on the numbers of people at any one time who can access toilets and kitchen areas, and Perspex screens in our receptions. Our Social Distancing Guidance provides further information on the measures we’re taking. Please familiarise yourself with this advice and plan how you will keep safe and minimise risk to yourself and others.
You should wash your hands frequently using soap and water, for at least 20 seconds each time, throughout the day. There are also alcohol-based hand sanitisers located across our campuses.
If you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, throw it in the bin and then immediately wash your hands.
Getting our buildings ready
Deans of the Academic Schools and Directors of Professional Services have been asked to ensure that risk assessments are undertaken for all buildings and areas they have responsibility for. The campus risk assessment is available on our Health and Safety site.
With fewer people working on our campuses at the moment, you may sometimes end up working alone in your office or lab. If this is the case, please make sure you have downloaded and are using our Lone Working App.
If you’re ill or have to self-isolate
Do not leave home and come to our campuses if you or someone you live with has any of the following:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste
Further information is available on the NHS website.
Connect and protect
We are actively working to see how we can best support both the NHS and our Public Health colleagues. As part of this, we are working on a ‘Connect and protect’ protocol that we will use in the event of any Covid-19 cases among the University community. This will support the NHS test and trace programme.
Mental health support
For our students there are online self-help resources and you can also access support from our mental wellbeing teams should you wish to speak with someone about your health and wellbeing concerns. If you feel that you are in crisis or need help urgently please see the information here.
For staff there’s a range of information on our Staff Wellbeing site to support you and help you to be happy and healthy while working at home.
Frequently asked questions
Is it safe for me to come on to campus?
To make sure that no one is put at risk, a detailed risk assessment has been undertaken. Schools and Services have a range of checks and procedures to put in place in their facilities, including marking out their spaces to enable effective social distancing.
You should also continue to follow the existing advice from the NHS to maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene:
- Frequently clean your hands, for at least 20 seconds, using soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub
- When coughing and sneezing cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, throw it in the bin and then immediately wash your hands.
You should not come to campus, however, if you have symptoms of Covid-19 or have been asked to isolate by the NHS. Those with shielding letters should continue to shield until the end of any shielding period. The University understands there are also other legitimate reasons why it may not be possible for you to return at the moment.
What measures are being put in place to protect those in customer-facing roles?
Visible social distancing measures are being implemented across campus. For example, in some areas temporary barriers will prevent customers coming too close to desks. It may be appropriate for Perspex shielding to be put in place.
Entry to high traffic areas is likely to be regulated to keep the numbers of people in the space as low as possible. Appropriate queueing arrangements will be clearly laid out for customers within these areas to ensure social distancing. Office and laboratory spaces should be marked out using materials available online from Creative and Print Services.
Do I need to continue social distancing when I come to campus?
Yes, and all staff will need to complete a short training programme on Learn that explains in more detail. You will need to ensure that you maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from others on campus, both within buildings and outside. You may be asked to work in a particular way to maintain social distancing, for example there may be one-way systems in place or limits to the number of people who can work in one area.
I share an office and have to sit within 2 metres of colleagues. What should I do?
You should continue to work from home if you possibly can, but if you are asked to come into the office, your line manager should put in place a rota system to reduce the number of people in the office at any one time and ensure that you can sit at least 2 metres apart from colleagues. You may be asked to work at a desk which is not your own in order to maintain safe distances.
What is being done to make shared spaces, such as toilets and kitchen areas safe?
A 'one in, one out' procedure should be implemented within communal kitchens. It is recommended that you bring in and use your own crockery/cutlery, rather than shared items from the kitchen. It is also advised that everyone washes their hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, in line with Government guidance, on entering the kitchen.
Multi-occupancy toilet facilities will change to a 'one in, one out' system, with knock and call signs on the outer doors. You should also ensure you maintain good hand hygiene, in line with Government guidance.
Is the University going to provide face coverings and other PPE for everyone on campus?
Social distancing of at least 2 metres remains the primary method of reducing the spread of the virus. If you believe that you are unable to maintain social distancing then you should wear a suitable face covering as described in the Government guidance.
The University will not be providing face coverings to everyone as standard but will for those whose role means that they may not be reliable able to maintain a 2m distance from others.