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Advice for Vulnerable & Pregnant Healthcare Workers

As per the government guidance, the following workers should not be at work:

  • Healthcare Assistants who are solid organ transplant recipients
  • HCAs with specific cancers
    • HCAs with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer.
    • HCAs with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment.
    • HCAs having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer.
    • HCAs  having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • HCAs who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • HCAS with severe respiratory conditions including cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD as confirmed by their specialist.
  • HCAs with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell)
  • HCAs on immunosuppression therapies, sufficient to significantly increase the risk of infection.
    ( In order to identify if an HCA who may have an increased risk of infection due to on-going regular immunosuppressant therapy, please refer to the ‘HSE COVID-19: Interim Clinical Guidance – Immunosuppressant Therapy)
  • HCAs who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  • HCAs over 70 years of age
  • HCA with Other Pre-Existing Diseases

All Healthcare Assistants must adhere to ‘Current recommendations for the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the management of suspected or confirmed COVID-19’.

Pregnant Healthcare Assistants should be allocated to patients, and duties, that have reduced exposure to patients with, or suspected to have COVID-19 infection. It is specifically recommended to avoid rostering pregnant staff to COVID-specific units or wards, and redeployment to lower risk duties should be considered

Vulnerable health care workers as described in this document should not be at work and can submit a report from their specialist, to their manager/HR department to confirm their status.

HCAs with other pre-existing diseases, do not need to be excluded from providing care to such clients unless indicated by a specialist report, which can be submitted to their manager.

Where possible and consistent with the expressed preference of the healthcare worker it is pragmatic to allocate all these healthcare workers to the care of other clients if feasible, based on availability.

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