Employers and practice owners have a duty of care to their team to ensure that the environment is safe to work in, and you should be clear about the actions and procedures that have been put in place to protect staff.
There is also the ethical principle of reciprocity which means that those who are asked to or redeployed to assist during this pandemic should be supported to do so and this includes the provision of appropriate PPE.
Your own health is important, and you should ensure that you value self-care activities to protect yourself, your colleagues and your patients.
If you have pre-existing health conditions that place you at increased risk of infection, you should discuss working arrangements with colleagues and your employer. It may be appropriate to ask another suitably qualified colleague to take over the care of patients with known or suspected COVID-19.
If you are worried about aspects of patient safety as a result of the pressures placed on you during the COVID-19 crisis, you should raise your concerns with the practice owner and/or employer in the first instance. You should also record any concerns in writing, clearly and objectively setting out the reasons for the concerns and the potential impact on patient safety, with examples.
Keep a record of any correspondence and/or discussions about any concerns you have raised and the steps that you have taken to try to address the issues. If an adverse incident does occur, then it is important to show that you took action. If you find yourself in this situation, please contact us for further advice.