Released 18 November 2022
You answered two of the three main points I was interested in, namely the names of members of the CGA and the risk assessment used. However, you did not provide me with the details of the discussion by the CGA regarding the decision to continue the use of masks for staff. Could you provide me with the minutes of the CGA meeting where this discussion took place?
Please see minutes below taken from the Trust’s Clinical Advisory Group meeting on 20/09/22.
CAG agreements are documented in the Trust’s Covid Board Assurance Framework. The use of facemasks is also endorsed by our clinical IPC Cell colleagues for Sussex (which includes the Integrated Care Board). The wearing of facemasks is common and accepted practice in hospitals across the South East, and will likely remain so during the winter period.
Information that would identify staff has been redacted from these minutes in line with section 40(2) [personal information] exemption of the Act . The engagement of s.40(2) in this case is considered absolute and is not subject to further public interest considerations.
Clinical Advisory Group – 20 September 2022
“Lack of testing means it is difficult to set the local level of COVID. National guidance takes the approach of respiratory pathways, including flu and RSVs. These have an impact on people’s attitudes to mask-wearing and the risk environment. The general feeling was that we should keep the current arrangements.
[REDACTED] commented that the risk assessment was not much help and the answer was often ‘a management decision.’ [REDACTED] will discuss the risk assessment with [REDACTED].
Staff who cannot wear masks are still subject to the Trust’s duty of care to staff and patients and there are situations where mask-wearing is a requirement. [REDACTED] commented on how many clinically vulnerable staff the Trust has.
[REDACTED] supported [REDACTED] comments on the risk assessment. [REDACTED] If masks are not mandatory, then COSHH will be the deciding factor in whether or not masks are worn. [REDACTED] A communication is needed, taking the context of winter flu and RSVs as well as COVID.
ACTION – [REDACTED] to draft trust-wide communication on mask-wearing, putting this in context with winter RSVs and flu.”