Occupational health

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Staff screening and treatment after infection outbreaks

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This guidance is aimed at occupational health practitioners involved in managing an outbreak of infectious disease.

Screening of healthcare workers, including medical staff, through microbiological testing of samples as part of the investigation and management of an infection outbreak, may occasionally be advised by an OCT (outbreak control team) as a control measure.

This may cause understandable concern on the part of healthcare workers in relation to the occupational health and employment implications of test results. This document summarises the ethical principles and legal framework that apply and includes:

  • The definition of infection control
  • The primary objective in outbreak management
  • Possible membership of the OCT
  • Risk assessment
  • Screening and treatment strategy
  • Legislation and ethical obligations that cover occupational health and safety.

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