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The government has classified various groups as clinically vulnerable or extremely clinical vulnerable.
It is reasonable for a doctor to request adjustments to their working environment or practices to maintain their safety or the safety of close family members in their household.
This will entail a risk assessment by your employer to establish what adjustments may be needed to keep you safe, including working from home if necessary and practicable.
It should also encompass any risks to people in your household who are deemed “clinically extremely vulnerable”. Reasonable adjustments in such circumstances could, for instance, include provision of alternative accommodation by your employer.
Where an individual doctor has received a formal written clinical evaluation which places them either in the clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable category, a local risk assessment should not be used by managers to try to contradict this.
You do have the right to contest a risk assessment, but we would not advise that you do this alone. The best course of action is to contact HCSA to seek professional advice and support, via Advice@hcsa.com or by ringing 01256 770 999.
You are "clinically extremely vulnerable" if you have one of the conditions listed by the government, or if your GP or Clinician has added you to the shielding list.
Provided you are on the shielding list you should have automatically received a letter confirming your shielding status during the current lockdown (announced on January 4th 2021). Your clinician or GP is able to add you to the national list if your condition warrants it.
Under the current lockdown guidance if you are classified as "clinically extremely vulnerable" you should be shielding and working from home if possible. If adjustments and reallocation of work cannot be made to enable you to work from home, you should still be shielding and should qualify for Covid Special Leave.
NHS Employers has produced guidance for employing organisations, and the joint trade union-employer NHS Staff Council has also produced a document which sets out the rights and expectations of individuals who are shielding.
However, if you have any concerns about the way your employer is handling your situation then you should contact HCSA for individual support and advice via Advice@hcsa.com or by ringing 01256 770 999.
© Hospital Consultants and Specialists Association 2019
HCSA - the Hospital Doctors' Union is a professional association and trade union affiliated to the Trades Union Congress.