COVID-19 Workforce risk assessment tool

 Nicky Hughes 8 Jun 2020

Nicky Hughes, RCN Wales Associate Director of Nursing (Employment Relations), highlights the new risk assessment for all staff that includes issues relating to vulnerable people and those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

Is it just me or do the weeks seem to roll by so fast right now?

Nurses, students and carers continue to undertake amazing work in what continues to be a difficult and challenging time. I am so impressed at the flexibility and diversity of nurses who have not only changed their working life, but also their personal life to care for those in need.

Last week the Minister for Health and Social Services announced the publication of the new COVID-19 workforce risk assessment. This is a tool for all staff to use but takes into account specific risks that we know are disproportionately affecting some staff – particularly those who are vulnerable or from BAME communities.

View the COVID-19 workforce risk assessment tool.

From Public Health England we have seen a review into how different factors have affected COVID-19 risks and outcomes.

View the COVID-19 review of disparities in risks and outcomes.

Although not conclusive, in general the findings were that older people, men, BAME groups and those with co-morbidities are more likely to contract, and have more severe outcomes from, COVID-19. There are also higher prevalence rates in urban areas, deprived areas and among international migrants. People living in care homes are also at higher risk.

Although the risk assessment toolkit is based on current evidence, RCN Wales has sought assurance that this will be reviewed on a weekly basis, looking at both new evidence and the experiences of those using it. We will hold the experts to account for adapting the tool should the evidence suggest a different formula.

It is so important that all staff redo their risk assessment in line with the current toolkit and have discussions with their line managers. Remember it is not just about the score; it should be a holistic assessment considering your individual needs. If you can’t access it online, ask your employer for a copy. Please get in touch with your RCN Rep if you need any help with obtaining or completing the form.

Please let me know about your experience of using the risk assessment tool. You can tweet me – @nichughes1 – or email

It’ll be radio silence from me this week as I am taking time off to refresh. I’m not sure where we will go, but since travel isn’t an option at the moment, it looks like it’ll be another virtual holiday – the world is literally my oyster!

Back soon and in the meantime stay safe and take care of yourselves.

Nicky Hughes

Associate Director of Nursing (Employment Relations) RCN Wales

Nicky has 30 years experience of working in the NHS in the specialities of inpatient acute medicine and the community setting, where she managed frontline services such as District Nursing, Prison Nursing, and those caring for the homeless and asylum seekers. In addition she commissioned care from the nursing home sector.

Page last updated - 29/06/2020