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What we're doing
St John Ambulance’s aim is to support the healthcare of the nation, so the safety and wellbeing of everyone is our paramount concern. We constantly monitor government advice and have listed our safety measures and information about our risk assessments below. We have conducted a risk assessment of each venue to determine the maximum safe capacity to be able to adhere to 2-metre-plus social distancing, to determine the number of places available on each of our courses.
We will be keeping our training venues well ventilated by having windows open. It is advised that all delegates attend courses in warm clothing (we suggest lots of layers that can be added or removed) and bring gloves, scarves etc.
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Our safety measures
We are implementing the following measures to keep your delegates and our employees safe:
If a delegate has any of the symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g. new persistent cough, high temperature, loss or change to sense of smell or taste) they must not attend training. We will provide a free transfer to a future course.
We are implementing social distancing measures (2-meter rule) between everyone at all times during the course and require the same of delegates during breaks. To do this we have reduced class sizes dependent on the size of the room.
There is hand sanitisation available and regular hand-washing protocols in place.
We maintain our rigorous manikin cleaning protocols.
We have altered our training practical lessons so that trainers and delegates don’t need to come into direct contact with each other and can remain socially distanced.
We will continue to provide gloves for relevant practical sessions.
We have made wearing a face covering mandatory for everyone when they are inside our buildings (those who have a medical exemption will be exempt from this rule). We will provide all delegates with two disposable face masks as part of their training packs which they are welcome to wear if they wish.
Face coverings in St John venues
Everyone must wear face coverings inside St John venues at all times (unless eating or drinking). Those who have a medical exemption will not be required to wear a face covering. You can find out more about exemptions on the government website as well as download and print exemption cards should you be eligible to do so.
Delegates may wear their own face coverings, but in addition we supply everyone with disposable surgical face masks as part of the training pack. These can be used during the course or can be kept for use as a first aider.
We are following advice from Public Health England and have adapted our courses and venues accordingly, including maintaining 2-metre+ distancing, along with rigorous cleaning and sanitisation protocols.
NHS Test & Trace at St John venues
To protect our communities we participate in the NHS Test and Trace system in our venues. This is in addition to the self-check-in QR codes provided at our venues for use with the NHS App.
How will this work?
If anyone who visits our venues returns a positive test for coronavirus and we are contacted by a representative from NHS Test and Trace, in the interests of public health we will provide the representative with the contact details of the booker for any delegates on the relevant training course.
The Test and Trace representative will contact you to advise you on the best course of action in relation to your delegates.
We will only give out information where we are sure the request is a genuine NHS Test and Trace request.
For more information on how Test and Trace works, visit: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works
Our venues and risk assessments
Every venue we open is subject to a rigorous Risk Assessment and formal Safe System of Work. These are different depending on the layout and use of the building, albeit with some common themes such as one-way systems or specific entrance/exit for different users of the building, hand-washing regimes, sanitiser stations, floor coverings/mats, guidance posters and floor markings, cleaning regimes for equipment used, revised training protocols to avoid touching, and so on.
In each and every case, the Risk Assessment and Safe System of Work is thoroughly assessed by our national Health and Safety Manager and our Medical Director – who is an expert in the field and is a Consultant Physician, supported by a Clinical team which includes, for example, an Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Nurse Consultant who also works in the NHS Trust Infection Control Service.
The principles being adopted are in line with Government and Public Health England guidelines. What that means is that we are adopting all sorts of measures to keep our staff and our customers safe. What it doesn’t mean is that we are removing every element of potential risk, as there is no scenario which is completely risk-free. Therefore, whilst we do have cleaning regimes, remind people to wash their hands regularly, conduct a thorough clean of the venue daily and clean frequent touchpoints throughout the day, we cannot mitigate every possible risk. However, we will provide gloves for practical sessions where we would have done so normally during training and will provide each delegate with two disposable face masks which they are welcome to wear if they feel more comfortable doing so. Managing the use of toilets can be a challenge, but there are processes in place for every venue, such as limiting numbers in at any one time and encouraging people to take loo-breaks throughout the day rather than all going at once to avoid queuing.
Similarly, there is some reliance on common-sense adoption of requirements and guidelines – for example, we do not mark out smoking areas to show people where to stand, as they can adopt a 2m distance in the same way they have to elsewhere. Also, recognising that we are training adults, people need to cooperate with the guidance but also self-manage – such as if someone comes to stand too close, then they should ask them to step back or they themselves should move away.