Covid Staff Updates

Click here for the very latest news and advice direct from NHS England
Click here for news and advice from Combined
Click here to see advice in Easy Read, Large Print, Audio and BSL formats

As part of our support to staff during the Coronavirus challenge, we provide regular updates, guidance and advice from our Management Team.

Recognising that many of them will now be working remotely or may not always be in a position to access the internal network or e-mails, we are making them available on our public website as well, so they are always accessible and available.

The updates in many cases link to underlying material on our CAT Intranet. If any member of staff cannot access them from their device, they can e-mail the Covid Team to request a copy.

Click on the image above to download a copy of our principles for working arrangements

Our Covid updates

15th July 2022

Covid Update 54

Withdrawal of COVID-19 terms and conditions workforce guidance

6th July 2022

Covid Update 53

Reintroduction of Infection Prevention Measures

20th June 2022

Covid Update 52

Infection Prevention and Control Measures

7th April 2022

Covid Update 51

LFD Tests and PCR testing

24th February 2022

Covid Update 50

Living with COVID-19 – no change for the NHS

18th February 2022

Covid Update 49

Working Arrangements from 1 April 2022

1st February 2022

Covid Update 48

Vaccinations Update

24th January 2022

Covid Update 47

Vaccinations Special Edition

13th January 2022

Covid Update 46

Annual Leave


Lateral Flow Tests

6th January 2022

Covid Update 45

Business continuity 

Isolation guidance


14th December 2021

Covid Update 44

Omicron variant and Self-isolation Procedures

Access to Vaccine Boosters

Working from home

30th November 2021

COVID Update 43

  1. Overseas travel
  3. Vaccination boosters
  5. Working from home

18th August 2021

COVID Update 42

  1. Changes to Self Isolation Guidance 

22nd July 2021

Covid Update 41

Exemption from self-isolation – no change for Combined Healthcare staff

19th July 2021

COVID Update 40

  1. IPC in Healthcare Settings
  3. LFT Testing Requirements
  5. Travel

25th June 2021

COVID Update 39

  1. Travel Abroad
  3. Team Away Days
  5. IPC Guidance in Healthcare Settings – No Change

11th June 2021

CEO Special Edition

Update on our working arrangements


20th May 2021

COVID Update 38

  1. Update on working from home and agile working arrangements

23rd April 2021

COVID Update 37 

  1. Covid Survey
  3. LFT Recording

7th April 2021

COVID Update 36 

  1. Vaccinations update

Lateral Flow Testing

9th March 2021

COVID Update 35

  1. Second dose vaccinations

2nd March 2021

COVID Update 34 – Vaccinations and remote working update

  1. Vaccination Update
  3. Second Vaccination Scheduling
  5. Remote Working / Working From Home
  7. Ward 5 – A Thank You

8th February 2021

COVID Update 33 – Further support for our COVID-19 Vaccination offer

  1. Update from Shajeda Ahmed, Executive Director of People, OD & Inclusion

1st February 2021

COVID Update 32 – Supporting our people during Covid-19 – Our vaccination offer

  1. Update from Shajeda Ahmed, Executive Director of People, OD & Inclusion

15th January 2021

Peter Axon – BBC Radio Stoke Interview

  1. Listen to our Chief Executive, Peter Axon, interviewed on @BBCRadioStoke and giving insight into how our magnificent staff are rising to the Covid challenge and maintaining outstanding mental health services in our acute and community settings

4th January 2021

COVID Update 31 – New Restrictions

  1. Working From Home
  3. Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) Staff
  5. School Closures & Key Worker Placements
  7. Vaccination Availability

4th January 2021

COVID Update 30 – Vaccinations


31st December 2020

Peter Axon New Year message to staff


20th December 2020

COVID Update 29 – Christmas and New Year working arrangements


18th December 2020

COVID Update 28 – Vaccinations Update and Annual Leave Guidance

  1. COVID-19 Staff Vaccinations
  3. Annual Leave Flexibilities

20th November 2020

COVID Update 27 – Asymptomatic Staff Testing, Call for Staff and Updated Risk Assessments

  1. Asymptomatic Staff Testing
  3. Call for Staffing
  5. Staff Risks Assessments

6th November 2020

COVID Update 26 – Trust Status Update: Second Lockdown

  1. Working Arrangements – Lockdown 2 
  3. PPE 
  5. Health and Wellbeing Support

3rd November 2020

Peter Axon message to staff

“We will get through this together”


15th October 2020

Covid Update 25 – Keeping up the good work on risk assessments

  1. Risk Assessments
  3. Guidance for Pregnant Staff

5th October 2020

CEO Blog

COVID-19 – what you must do

Continuing Health and Wellbeing Practical Support for working from home

Building on Outstanding Foundations and Teamwork

Congratulations to Lorraine Hooper


29th September 2020

Covid Update 24 – What you MUST do

  1. Working Practices
  2. Working from home
  4. Requirements if you have to enter Trust sites and cannot work from home
  6. Wearing of face masks in all NHS premises
  8. Influenza vaccination programme 

16th September 2020

Covid Update 23 – Staff Testing & Following Guidance

  1. COVID-19 Testing for Staff
  3. Social Distancing & PPE Update – New Guidance
  5. Working Practices
  7. Car Sharing & Travel

20th July 2020

Covid Update 22 -Community Clinical Services & COVID-19


1st July 2020

Covid Update 21 – Workforce updates and PPE

  1. Workplace COVID-19 Health & Safety Risk Assessments and Estates Work
  3. Workforce Implications and ‘Personal Plans’
  5. PPE Guidance Reminder – Community & Inpatient Sites

12th June 2020

Covid Update 20 – Updates on PPE and Test and Trace

  1. PPE Guidance from Monday 15th June
  3. Test and Trace Procedure

5th June 2020

Covid Update 19 – Social Distancing and Staff Testing

  1. Maintaining social distancing – Health & Safety Principles
  3. Antibody Testing – Access for Staff

29th May 2020

Covid Update 18 – Working Arrangements and Testing for Staff

  1. Working Arrangements for June
  3. Antibody Testing
  5. Staff Testing
  7. HR / Workforce Update
  9. Guidance on Leave / Section 17 Leave
  11. How to Stay Cool in the Heat

11th May 2020

Covid Update 17 – Trust Social Distancing and Service Update

  1. Service Update and Social Distancing at Combined Healthcare
  3. Power Outage Planning

4th May 2020

Covid Update 16 – Raising concerns and continuing innovation in video and digital

  1. Continuing innovation in video and digital – further roll-out of technology
  3. Arrangements for raising concerns or issues
  5. Social Media
  7. Research by the Mental Health Policy Research Unit

28th April 2020

CEO Blog

Health and Wellbeing

Combined…United goes from strength to strength

Restoration and Recovery

How to keep up to date with all you need to know

28th April 2020

Covid-19 Update 15 – Testing and PPE Update

Patient Admission Testing

Learning Disability Easy Read Documents

IPC Back to Basics & COVID-19 PPE Reminder

Staff Testing Update

CPR in COVID Confirmed or Suspected Patients

Student Nurse Recruitment

17th April 2020

Covid-19 Update 14 – Supporting health and wellbeing

New section on CAT to support health and wellbeing of our staff

Launch of video consultations

Recording and managing absence during COVID

New Lorenzo updates for recording patient information

8th April 2020

Covid-19 Update 13 – Important items as Easter approaches

Staff Testing for COVID-19

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) – Trust Position

Guidance for RC’s on Leave and Section 17 Leave

Invoice Approval / Authorisation – Reminder

7th April 2020

CEO Blog

Clap out for Ward 7 – a really special moment

“Combined…United” – a chance to build lasting tributes and appreciation for each other

How to keep up to date with all you need to know

2nd April 2020

Covid-19 Update 12 – Settling into a new rhythm

Video Message from Kenny Laing, Executive Director of Nursing & Quality

 Staffing Help Needed

 Wards 4 and 5

 Staff Testing

 Volunteer Responders Referral Process

Fire Safety Guidance

Guidance for Medics on Coronavirus Act Exess Death provisions

27th March 2020

Covid-19 Update 11 – Ongoing practical help

Service Status


Personal Protective Equipment

Digital Update – Laptops and Mobile Phones

26th March 2020

Covid-19 Update 10 – Medical and Nursing Update

Supporting our junior doctors

Clinical Professional Advisory Group

Practice Education

Maintaining the Ward Community 

25th March 2020

Covid-19 Update 9 – Managing leave and wellbeing

Carrying over Annual Leave

Section 17 Patient Leave cancelled

Data Collection Tool for school leave

​Looking after your health and wellbeing 

24th March 2020

Message from our Chief Executive

Thanks and instructions on social distancing and working from home

23rd March 2020

Covid-19 Update 8 – Looking after ourselves

Uniforms and Workwear 

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Consultant On-Call

Working From Home and Out of Hours

Staff Counselling Service

20th March 2020

Covid-19 Update 7 – Preparing to work from home

Service Continuity Arrangements

Home working – risk assessments

Message from Team Prevent

Payroll information

19th March 2020

Covid-19 Update 6 – Digital Working and Information Governance 

Mobile Messaging

Video Conferencing

Telephone and Video Consultations

Working from home

Cyber Security

17th March 2020

Covid-19 Update 5 – Updating our Procedures

Latest HR / Manager guidance

Updated Isolation Procedures

Inpatient and Community Flow Charts

Patient Visiting Times / Restrictions

16th March 2020

Covid-19 Update 4 – Staff support

Isolation Procedures

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Availability

Staff Support / HR Measures

13th March 2020

Covid-19 Update 3 – Adopting Government Guidance

Isolation Procedures

Team Based Assessment Exercise

Meetings, Events and Gatherings

12th March 2020

Covid-19 Update 2 – Creating our Intranet presence

Our Intranet Coronavirus Home

Covid-19 flowcharts

Communication for Nursing and Midwifery Staff

Spread the message, not the virus

11th March 2020

Covid-19 Update 1 – Welcome to our newsletter

Key Messages

Managers’ Briefing

Recording Absence

Inpatient Guidance

Categorisation on EASY/ESR