Hospital staff forced to take break in CARS due to Covid canteen rules

Doctors and nurses at hospital trust are forced to take breaks in their CARS because of Covid social distancing restrictions in canteen

  • Employees say a table limit in hospital canteen mean there is not enough room
  • One employee says they are at risk of becoming ill if sat in cars during winter 
  • Dr Gray’s Hospital, in Elgin, Scotland, says situation is currently ‘unavoidable’ 

Hospital workers are taking breaks from frontline duties in their CARS because of Covid restrictions.

A two-person per table limit in the canteen at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin, Moray, is forcing doctors and nurses to spend breaks in their cars or changing rooms.

One employee said: ‘The two people per table and one-way system are all well and good, but due to this staff are having to sit in changing rooms or their cars in the car park as there is not enough space for them.

Dr Gray’s hospital in Elgin where employees have said they sit in their car on break as a table limit in place due to coronavirus restrictions means there is not enough room in the canteen

‘Staff feel that as winter is now coming they are being put at risk of getting ill.

‘Also, who wants to sit in a car in the early hours of the morning if that’s your break time?’

NHS Grampian says changes are being made, where possible, to convert areas and provide extra space for staff to take rests.

Arrangements are also being made to ensure breaks are staggered as much as possible to avoid the canteen and other rooms being put under pressure.

Alasdair Pattinson, general manager of Dr Gray’s, explained staff had not been encouraged to take breaks in cars but added that capacity issues were currently ‘unavoidable’.

He said: ‘The same principle applies in relation to bed numbers and we have no choice but to respond to essential infection control guidance.

‘The safety of our staff and patients is of the utmost priority and we will continue to engage with staff at all levels in order to ensure adequate rest space.

Hospital staff engaging in social distancing and using PPE during Covid-19 crisis (file photo)

‘We have a dedicated safer workplace group which is focused on exactly this type of issue.

‘This group would concur that to ask staff to congregate in small spaces, such as changing rooms, is not appropriate.

‘I would also add that if any staff feel they have had no choice but to take their break in a changing room or their car, they are encouraged to communicate through their line management structures so this is raised and acted upon in the appropriate way.’

Source: Read Full Article