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.

Training is permitted in areas where local lockdowns are in place, provided it is run in a COVID secure manner, class sizes are not affected by the rule of six. 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.

Our new safety measures

We are implementing the following measures to keep your delegates and our employees safe:

  1. 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.

  2. We are implementing social distancing measures 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.

  3. There is hand sanitisation available and regular hand-washing protocols in place. 

  4. We maintain our rigorous manikin cleaning protocols.

  5. We have altered our training practical lessions so that trainers and delegates don’t need to come into direct contact with each other and can remain socially distanced.

  6. We will continue to provide gloves for relevant practical sessions.

  7. 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.

  8. If there are specific local restrictions with lockdown measures in place over and above the standard national precautions, then we will require all delegates in affected venues to wear a face mask or covering at all times. Most people will already know about these restrictions before they arrive for a course, nevertheless we will confirm this when delegates arrive and they can either wear their own face covering or wear one that we provide.

  9. All delegates will be requested to register their presence in the buildings using the NHS Covid-19 Contact Tracing App – we recommend that all delegates download this app before they attend the course.

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.

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