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I’m a doctor. What should I do if I think I may be infected with coronavirus?

The GMC recognises the challenges the doctors may face as the situation continues to develop. This includes concerns about the risks to the health of the doctors when treating patients with coronavirus. Doctors should follow the current public health advice including self-isolating if they know or suspect that they are infected or are at a higher risk of infection.

 

Finally, all necessary steps should be taken to ensure that doctors have access to protective equipment and minimise the risk of transmission when treating patients. It is imperative that a record is kept of all decisions made and how any safety or health concerns have been handled.

 

The GMC continues to work with NHS England and UK’s Chief Medical Officers to provide updates and advice to all doctors as the situation develops. Click here for more information.

Related FAQs

What will be the added cost to business of furloughing staff from 1 July 2021?

Similar to the position for claims between 1 August 2020 and 31 October 2020, for claims between 1 July 2021 and 30 September 2021 there will be a cost to businesses of furloughing staff, which will gradually increase until the scheme closes at the end of September as follows.

  • From 1 July 2021 employers will be required to contribute 10% of wages, with the Government contributing 70%.
  • From 1 August 2021, the employer contribution increases to 20% and the Government will contribute 60%.
  • 30 September 2021: scheme closes.

Employees will continue to receive 80% of their current wages, up to £2,500 a month.

 

Do I need to treat everyone the same and bring them all back at the same time?

No. You should always treat employees consistently and fairly, but this doesn’t mean treating them all the same, or applying the same requirements. For those employees who have been homeworking and doing so without any problems, then they should be allowed to continue to do so.

We would anticipate that the vast majority, if not all, businesses will be approaching the return on a phased basis, which inevitably means some employees returning to work sooner than others. In reality then, you aren’t treating everyone the same, but try to be fair and consistent; you need to do what works best from a business perspective, but can you rotate people, require them to come in at different times etc. Where people perceive that the planned return is being worked out fairly they are far more likely to buy into this, which will help avoid resentments building up between colleagues.

Are permitted development rights now in existence for the creation of emergency medical facilities?

Yes. The Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Coronavirus) (England) (Amendment) Order 2020 came into force on 9 April 2020 giving permitted development rights for emergency development. The permitted development right is available to local authorities and health service bodies (as defined) on land owned, leased, occupied or maintained by it for the purposes of:

  • Preventing an emergency
  • Reducing, controlling or mitigating the effects of an emergency
  • Taking other action in connection with an emergency

It could cover, for example, the temporary change of use of buildings into a Nightingale Hospital or the establishment of a testing centre.

The permitted development right is not permitted in certain instances and is subject to a number of conditions including the notification of the local planning authority and the cessation of the use before 31 December 2020.

Further detail of the permitted development right is available at the link below.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2020/412/made

How have competition law rules been relaxed in the light of the coronavirus outbreak?

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has issued a number of guidance documents about the application of competition law rules during the coronavirus outbreak. In general, the competition law rules are being relaxed in very specific circumstances.

Which agreements will qualify for exemption?

There are four criteria which must be satisfied if an agreement is to be considered exempt:

  • It must improve production or distribution, or promoting technical or economic progress – the guidance suggests that cooperation ensuring essential goods and services can be made available to the public, or an important sub-set of the public such as key workers, will satisfy this criterion.
  • It must allow consumers a fair share of the resulting benefit – the guidance suggests this will be the case where the action prevents or reduces shortages.
  • It must not impose on the undertakings concerned restrictions which are not indispensable to the attainment of the above benefits – the guidance suggests this will be the case where the cooperation is the only reasonable option due to the urgency of the crisis and where the cooperation is temporary in nature.
  • It must not afford the undertakings concerned the possibility of eliminating competition – therefore the parties must endeavour to retain competition in respect of the products (in particular price competition).