Students - coronavirus FAQs

This collection of FAQs covers some of the key issues that have been raised to date by students on pre-registration physiotherapy degrees. They will be regularly updated as advice changes or new issues emerge.

These FAQs cover the following:

 

Joining the workforce on the Temporary Register (final year students)

I’m a final year student. Will I be able to help during the COVID-19 pandemic?

The HCPC has launched a temporary register for final year students who meet the required competencies and have completed sufficient clinical placements. This is available at www.hcpc-uk.org/covid-19

Students who are approaching the end of their degree, who meet the relevant standards of proficiency and programme learning outcomes, and have gained sufficient clinical experience, will be put forward to be added to the register. Universities are working carefully to establish which of their students are eligible and will confirm if this applies to you.

If your name is added, this does not mean that you have to work during the pandemic or that you will: it means that you are eligibleand could work if you choose to.

The HCPC has created FAQs for students to guide you through the registration process.

Once you have your HCPC temporary number, you can register your interest in working. When you do this will depend on the country in which you are based (see question ‘I have my HCPC number. What do I do next to join the frontline?’ for more information). Some UK countries are no longer recruiting AHPs through accelerated recruitment routes.

Please note, the HCPC has waived their registration fee for temporary registrants.

(Last updated: 28 May 2020)


I haven’t completed 1000 hours of placement. Will I be added to the temporary register?

Under these unique and challenging circumstances, the HCPC has allowed flexibility in how universities deliver your programme in order that you meet the standards of proficiency.

The CSP accredit all physiotherapy programmes and set a 1,000-hour requirement guideline for placement hours.

During these unprecedented times, the CSP is also allowing universities discretion and flexibility on this. Programme teams have been encouraged to consider different delivery and assessment methods to ensure that you meet your module and programme learning outcomes so that you can be confident that you have met the standards of proficiency. This will mean looking at your individual profiles, including your placement profile if you haven’t completed the 1000 hours. Teams will also look at your academic profile, which is just as important in helping them to make their assessment.

Ultimately the CSP, the HCPC and your university must be confident that both students and service users are not disadvantaged in the medium- to long-term by the changes made at this time.

If you are planning to register to work internationally and are required to have the full 1000 hours, please liaise with your university about completing the additional hours at a later date (even if after joining the temporary register).

If you are not eligible for the temporary register, your university may ask you to consider alternative options such as undertaking a paid placement to gain clinical placement hours.

(Last updated: 28 May 2020)


What will happen if I haven’t undertaken one of my core placements (e.g. respiratory)?  

Neither the HCPC nor the CSP encourage universities or students to think in terms of ‘core’ placements.

While you may not have had experience in a placement setting, your university will understand this and will be taking it into consideration when assessing and interpreting your profile. We have asked programme teams to consider what support you will need in this current climate – especially around respiratory. As this support will be specific to your university, we recommend that you liaise with your placement co-ordinator if you want to discuss what this will entail.

(Last updated: 31 March 2020)


I feel that other universities are dealing with the pandemic better than my institution. Is there a right and wrong way?

Each university is having to adapt how it delivers courses, and each institution is making slightly different decisions. This means that what your university is doing might be different to what’s happening at a neighbouring institution. This is a positive and necessary approach because each programme is structured differently. Here at the CSP, we are speaking to your lecturers to ensure they are making the right decisions for you as an individual, your year group as a whole and the frontline workforce. Your safety is your university’s number one priority.   

Please rest assured the temporary changes your tutors are making is in consultation with the CSP and do comply with our expectations of accredited programmes. For some students, the changes mean that final year students may graduate early (and have their details passed to the HCPC for the temporary register), while other students will need to carry on with placements until enough hours are completed. Should you have any questions, please speak to your programme team so they can explain.

(Last updated: 06 May 2020)


I have my HCPC number. What do I do next to join the frontline?

If you are a temporary registrant and are able to work during the pandemic within the UK, please follow the steps below related to the country you are in. Please note, some countries have paused recruitment.

  • In England: NHS England has paused their fast-track recruitment (see their website). If you are a temporary registrant and are able to work as a Band 5, please ensure your university has registered you on the Health Education England Deployment tool with your preferences as to where you wish to work. Organisations that are looking for staff will use this tool to identify available registrants. However, as the demand for temporary staff has reduced significantly, we encourage you to focus on completing your studies so you can join the full register as soon as possible.
  • In Scotland: NHS Education for Scotland has paused COVID-19 accelerated recruitment as the demand for temporary staff has reduced significantly. If you are a temporary registrant, we encourage you to focus on completing your studies so you can join the full register as soon as possible.
  • In Northern Ireland: You can register your interest to work at hscworkforceappeal.co.uk. The Department of Health has also provided FAQs to support healthcare workers. However, as the demand for temporary staff has reduced significantly, we encourage you to focus on completing your studies so you can join the full register as soon as possible.
  • In Wales: You can register at https://gov.wales/register-rejoin-nhs. This page also includes a link to guidance for AHPs. However, as the demand for temporary staff has reduced significantly, we encourage you to focus on completing your studies so you can join the full register as soon as possible.

(Last updated: 28 May 2020)


Will I be paid to work as a HCPC temporary registrant?

Where needed, we expect final year students on the temporary register to be employed on a fixed-term NHS contract and paid at the starting point of Agenda for Change Band 5, subject to discussions at the NHS Staff Council. See more at the NHS Employers website.

Your fixed-term contract of employment will cover all the working hour protections, pay arrangements and annual leave entitlement of the organisation into which you are deployed. National terms and conditions for NHS staff can be found at www.nhsemployers.org

Your working hours and pattern will be agreed between you and your employer and will consider working time regulations and expectations that enough rest time is provided. If you have assignments to complete, we recommend working part-time so that you can progress your studies simultaneously.

In terms of contract length, you are likely to be needed for a short time period (with most contracts fixed at 6 months). However, as the impact of the pandemic is unpredictable, extensions are possible. Of course, you are free to stop working at any point and we encourage you to take your annual leave.

If you hold a contract of employment with an NHS employer and are on payroll, then you will be automatically enrolled into the NHS Pension Scheme (and life assurance benefits) upon starting employment. The pension scheme is contributory, which means that all members and their employers pay into the scheme each month. It is also voluntary, and you can decide to opt-out at any time.

(Last updated: 28 May 2020)


I am a MSc final year student. Will my name be added to the HCPC temporary register?

The HCPC COVID-19 temporary register is open to students who have completed or are approaching the end of their degree. Your university’s course team will confirm if this applies to you. However, if your course started in January 2019, for example, it is unlikely that your name will be passed onto the HCPC at this time (though this may change).

If you are not eligible for the temporary register, your university may consider alternative options such as undertaking paid placements to gain clinical hours.

(Last updated: 28 May 2020)


How long will my temporary registration be valid for?

The HCPC will keep the temporary register for as long as the Government deems it necessary. When it is no longer needed, it will close.

You will not move automatically from the temporary to the permanent HCPC register. This will only happen after you have completed your academic studies and your marks have been ratified through your university’s assessment board. The Government is working with universities to facilitate it so that students do not suffer financially should you need this extra time.

Once you are awarded the full degree, your name will be forwarded to the HCPC for inclusion on the permanent register. Only then can you join the CSP as a qualified member (as opposed to a ‘temporary qualified’ member) and become a Chartered Physiotherapist. It is therefore vital that you continue to prioritise and complete your academic studies.

(Last updated: 31 March 2020)

Will I need a DBS check?

Health Education England has confirmed that (within England), a new DBS will not normally be required if it has already been completed through your university as part of your education programme and is still valid. Should a DBS check be required, this can be acquired using the fast-tracked process run by the government.

(Last updated: 23 April 2020)


What if I already have a clinical job?

If you have already received a Band 5 job offer (or currently working as a support worker) contact your university and employer to discuss your working options. 

(Last updated: 23 April 2020)


If I am deployed on the temporary register, what work am I expected to do?

In most cases, you will be practising as a newly qualified Band 5 physio (subject to agreement at the NHS Staff Council). According to Health Education England, duties may include (but not limited to) backfill for clinicians dealing with acute respiratory patients, discharge planning, community assessment and rehabilitation, helping with outpatient clinics (this could be via telephone), providing routine clinical cover and contributing to the clinical part of the NHS111 service.

To keep your service users safe, you will be expected to limit your practice to your current skills, knowledge and experience level. If you have not completed or had experience in some aspects of your training, please discuss this with your employer and your university, and decide together what roles you undertake and where you need to seek out additional support. Please be assured that there is no expectation that you will work outside of your skills or capabilities. Should you have concerns about this, members can contact the CSP.

(Last updated: 23 April 2020)


Where will I work as a temporary registrant?

Ideally, you will be offered work where you have previously undertaken a clinical placement or worked. However, as many students have moved back to their family home, this may not be possible for everyone. Workforce needs will also impact on where posts become available. If you are asked to consider moving to a different area to cover local needs, this will be discussed with you beforehand.

If you are in England, speak to your university team about adding your details to Health Education England’s deployment tool with your preferences on where you wish to work. This will enable employers to find who is available to work in their area.

(Last updated: 28 May 2020)


Will I be covered by professional indemnity insurance?

NHS staff will be covered by existing indemnity arrangements during a pandemic. In NHS trusts, this is the Clinical Negligence Scheme for Trusts (CNST). As temporary staff, you will also be covered, provided that you have a clear contractual relationship with your employer. Volunteers should have a volunteer agreement. NHS Resolution has made it clear that indemnity arrangements should not be a barrier to changed working arrangements.

CSP members are also covered by the CSP PLI scheme which provides medical malpractice and public liability insurance.

(Last updated: 23 April 2020)

What training will I be provided if deployed?

As per any normal  employment arrangements, you will be provided with training and support from employers prior to commencing your role. This will include an induction alongside statutory and mandatory training to enable you to practice safely. Where applicable, you will receive guidance on the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Your employer may also arrange for you to be supervised by another professional when you start.

(Last updated: 23 April 2020)


What would happen if a concern is raised about me while on COVID-19 deployment?

HCPC recognise there are increased risks involved and unique challenges for temporary registrants. As stated in Health Education England's guidance, concerns raised about a registrant on the COVID-19 temporary register will be handled by the HCPC in accordance with their relevant policy.

If a concern is raised, please contact your university (and the CSP, if you are a member) as soon as possible. In certain situations, a student may be removed from the temporary register. Should this happen, the student will still beeligible to apply for full HCPC registration on the completion of their studies. However, HCPC would keep a record of the complaint to inform any decisions made about admitting applicants to the standard register. This approach is the same as it would be for any pre-registration student.

(Last updated: 23 April 2020)


I am a CSP student (or student associate) member. Do I need to change my membership if I am working as a HCPC temporary registrant?

Yes, once you have your HCPC temporary number, please upgrade to the CSP’s new ‘temporary qualified’ membership category. This will provide you with the support, guidance, insurance and resources needed at this time. It also offers all the benefits of qualified membership with the exception of chartered status. (You will receive this status upon graduation.)

There is no registration or joining fee for this membership category and, irrespective of whether you are upgrading or joining the CSP for the first time, you will receive three months of membership for free (saving you over £100). See the instructions for how to upgrade or join.

(Last updated: 31 March 2020)

If I join the HCPC temporary register, will I be eligible for Chartered Physiotherapist status?

Not yet. You will need to have completed any outstanding academic work, graduated and in receipt of a standard (non-temporary) HCPC number to be eligible for Chartered Physiotherapist status.

(Last updated: 31 March 2020)

Can I refer to myself as a physiotherapist while on the temporary register?

Yes. You can use the protected title of ‘physiotherapist’ for the duration of your time on the temporary register. Be open and honest with service users about your level of experience, qualifications and your registration status where necessary. You should not suggest to a service user that you have an ability to practise outside of your COVID-19 temporary role. Some employers may also set in local policies guiding how COVID-19 temporary registrants will be deployed and referred to.

(Last updated: 23 April 2020)



Undertaking paid placements (middle year students)

As a second year student, can I undertake placements during the pandemic?  

The Department of Health and Social Care is working with various bodies, including Health Education England (HEE), to enable students in the middle of their programme to undertake paid placements during the pandemic. This will provide students with the employment rights and benefits required for this time.

Paid placements are open to the following students:

  • BSc students in the 2nd year of a 3-year degree
  • BSc students in the 3rd year on a 4-year (or part time degree)
  • Autumn-starting MSc students in their 1st year
  • Final year students who are not eligible for the temporary register.

The introduction of 'paid placements', in England, is a revision to Health Education England's previous arrangement where middle year students were advised to find employment as support workers.

In England, the guidance is now focusing on enabling placements as usual (where possible) whilst ensuring students are on paid support worker contracts (known as ‘paid placements’). This arrangement provides financial and employment protection during the pandemic. Separate, additional funding is being provided to NHS trusts and private providers to pay for these contracts in England. This arrangement is likely to stop at the end of the summer with a plan to revert to unpaid placements.

If you feel able to complete a placement in this way (over the spring and/or summer months), talk to your university to ensure they add your details to HEE's deployment tool with your preferences (such as location). Please remember that your university staff are working in unprecedented circumstances to deliver programmes in the best way possible, so please give them time to respond.

We await guidance for students studying in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Once this is published, we will update this FAQ accordingly. 

 (Last updated: 28 May 2020)


If I cannot or do not feel able to undertake a paid placement at this time, what shall I do? 

If you do not feel able to undertake placements, please speak to your university to discuss the options available to you. This may involve continuing with the academic elements of your study through distance learning/online approaches or an authorised break in your studies. Universities are working on the principle of supporting all students so they are not disadvantaged in progressing whether or not they undertake paid placements.

The fact that a proportion of students will undertake placements during the spring and summer months will mean there is more placement capacity later to enable everyone to catch up.

We know lots of students want to help the NHS, but not everyone will be able. Do not feel obliged. If you are not able to work clinically, for whatever reason, you can help by following the social distancing measures now in place.

(Last updated: 28 May 2020)


What will I be paid for undertaking a paid placement and what are the financial implications of this?

You will be paid in line with the terms and conditions of your organisation and any national guidelines (e.g. Agenda for Change). We expect, that in most cases, you will be paid at Band 3 level. Confirmation will follow based on advice from the NHS Staff Council. NHS trusts in England have been allocated additional funding to pay for students taking up paid placements on support worker contracts.

For information about loans and funding, see the final section of this FAQ webpage.

 (Last updated: 28 May 2020)


I'm already employed as a support worker. Can this job count towards placement hours?

This will depend on your university and the work you are doing. If this is deemed possible, you will need a named supervisor and a learning agreement before you explore how your clinical work time (going forward) could count towards placement hours. Speak to your university so, if agreed, they can start arranging this.

(Last updated: 28 May 2020)


How can I get a paid placement?

If you are in England, speak to your university about adding your details to Health Education England's deployment tool. This is where you will indicate your availability to work. Being on the deployment tool does not guarantee there will be placement opportunities as some settings may be unable to support placements at this time. However, as services return over the coming months, more opportunities will come available.

Your university will discuss with you your placement options. This will involve assessing the appropriateness of settings local to you as well as their workforce capacity and PPE supplies (where applicable). 

 (Last updated: 28 May 2020)


I have returned to my family home (or home country). What are my options? 

If you have moved away from your university, discuss with your programme team whether it would be possible for you to work clinically where you are currently. If you are studying in England, you will need to ensure your information and preferences are up to date on the HEE deployment tool so they are aware if you are able to work and in which geographical location. For this to happen, you will need a named supervisor and a learning agreement. If this is not possible, you will be supported by your university to consider the options available to you including continuing with the academic elements of your study through distance learning/online approaches or an authorised break in your studies.

(Last updated: 28 May 2020)



First year students

What should I do as an undergraduatefirst-year student?

As a first year student on an undergraduate degree, you will continue with your studies using distance/online learning approaches, while clinical placement time (for those students who were due to start) will be paused for this academic year.

Please be assured that the HCPC and the CSP is working closely with your university to reduce the impact of your programme’s temporary restructure.

 (Last updated: 08 April 2020)


What should I do as a post-graduate first-year student?

If you are a MSc or PgDip student (and studying in England), speak to your university's programme team about paid placement opportunities to discuss whether this is an appropriate option for you at this stage.

(Last updated: 28 May 2020)


As a first year student, what can I do to support the frontline?  

If you feel you have time, you may wish to volunteer. (Volunteer websites include the GoodSAM in England, Ready Scotland, Volunteering Wales or Volunteer Now in Northern Ireland.)

You may also want to seek part-time employment as a support worker (approach your local Trust/Board to join the bank or look on NHS jobs for temporary COVID-19 listings).

In line with current guidelines, volunteering or paid work will not be counted towards practice hours and experience.

We know lots of people will want to help, but not everyone will be able. Do not feel obliged. If you are not able to work clinically, for whatever reason, you can help by following the social distancing measures now in place and encouraging others to do the same. We also recommend that students schedule time to rest and recoup.

(Last updated: 23 April 2020)


 

Working in clinical settings with COVID-19 patients

What do I do if I have concerns about exposure to COVID-19?

Your health and safety is an absolute priority. If you have concerns about exposure, talk to your manager (or your supervisor if on placement) who will advise and support you in order to work in a safe environment. It is possible that you may not be asked to treat anyone with or suspected of having COVID-19. 

However, if you are, your employer (or placement provider) must carry out risk assessments in line with the COVID-19 guidance for infection prevention and control in healthcare settings (available online). They should put in place the necessary procedures, including identification of potential patients with COVID-19 symptoms, safe systems of work including isolation, staff training, monitoring protocol and sufficient supply of suitable personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers. You will also be instructed on how to look after your uniform and equipment and how to wear and remove your PPE safely.

More information on PPE is available from the Health and Safety Executive (the agency that enforces health and safety) and from the CSP - see our Clinical Practice FAQs.

If you suspect that you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 (within or outside of your workplace), without the protection of PPE, contact your manager (or educator and link tutor if on placement) and your university, as soon as possible and follow the isolation procedures outlined by the government.

Also, if you or anyone you live with has any of the long-term health conditions that may put you at a greater risk from COVID-19, please speak to your university who will advise you about self-isolation measures.

(Last updated: 23 April 2020)


What do I do if appropriate PPE is not provided? 

Initially raise this immediately with your manager (or clinical supervisor if on placement). They may contact the infection control lead in the organisation for advice if you feel the PPE provided to you is inadequate.  If you cannot access your supervisor, contact their manager or a lead physiotherapy manager and raise this with them. 

If, after talking to managers and infection control, you remain concerned about the lack of personal equipment supply, fitting and infection control measures in place, you should talk to your university team (or manager, if working) in order that they raise it with the organisation on your behalf.  You can also seek advice from the workplace CSP safety rep. Check with other physiotherapists in your workplace to see if there is an accredited CSP safety rep you can talk to (or call the CSP enquires unit on 020 7306 666 and they can advise you on who this is). With their health and safety knowledge, safety reps are able to conduct inspections in the workplace and liaise directly with managers.  

(Last updated: 23 April 2020)


I suffer from a health condition. Should I join the workforce?

If you have a long-term health condition that puts you at a greater risk of complications from COVID-19 (or live with someone who is at risk), please speak to your university who will advise you about social distancing measures and avoiding non-essential travel. Ultimately, you will need to decide what is right for you and your personal circumstances.

For information about pregnant workers, view the CSP’s workplace and employment FAQs

If you do need to isolate, you can consider working or volunteering remotely. 

Please also note that opting in to work in clinical practice during the pandemic is entirely voluntary. If you choose not to do this, talk to your university about options for completing your course. Similarly, if you start practising but feel unable to continue, speak to your employer and university link who can support you. (If your details are added to the temporary register and you want them removed, please email e-regtemp@hcpc-org).

(Last updated: 23 April 2020)


 

I am a student joining the workforce. What can I do to prepare for this role?

Ensure you are as informed as possible about COVID-19. Take time to identify what additional knowledge, skills and training you may need for the clinical areas into which you may be deployed. Then begin some self-directed learning, starting with the following:

  • NHS England has provided resources to support staff education.
  • The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has produced a series of rapid guidelines and evidence reviews.
  • Health Education England has developed a programme of COVID-19 eLearning courses. Following registration to the portal these are free to access for all UK healthcare staff (and students using your ac.uk email address).
  • The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Respiratory Care (ACPRC) has learning resources (include eLearning content) to support those working in respiratory physiotherapy with COVID-19 patients.
  • The CSP professional networks have numerous learning resources, many dedicated to upskilling staff as part of the COVID-19 response.

In addition to your learning, make sure your personal support networks are aware of how you will be required to work over the coming weeks and months. Be sure to put measures in place so you can access practical and emotional support if you need it.

(Last updated: 6 May 2020)


 


Placements

Why has my university cancelled my placement when students at other universities are still on theirs?

Physiotherapy staff across the UK are being pulled to the frontline, redeployed to other teams or required to self-isolate due to illness. Each trust/board is therefore making individual decisions based on their workforce capacity, risk and appropriateness of the setting to continue offering placements. 

Because of this, many students will not be able to continue or start new placements as services are unable to provide the correct support. The CSP is working with universities and clinical practice to help clinical placements restart as soon as possible in the safest way possible.

(Last updated: 28 May 2020)


I am not in my final year, but I am concerned about not accruing all my placement hours.

Your course teams are already considering how to address a temporary shortfall of placement opportunities. This has involved, in the first instance, changing the order of programme delivery with a focus on lectures and written assignments over the spring and summer terms. While this action has the potential to place a burden later down the line on placement providers, your course teams will be working with local providers and neighbouring institutions to find solutions.

We advise that, regardless of the need to respond to the immediacy of this situation, your university must be able to assure the programme team, you as the student, employers and ultimately the service users, that anyone graduating meets the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency. In addition, they must be confident that you are not disadvantaged in the medium to long-term by any changes made at this time.

(Last updated: 24 March 2020)


I plan to work as a physiotherapist in another country. Will I need to have at least 1000 hours of clinical placement to do this? 

A number of countries require you to have accrued a specific number of hours in particular clinical specialities during your pre-registration programme. If you are a final year student and plan to work outside of the UK, speak to your programme team about how you can accrue extra hours at a later date. (Read more about working abroad.)

The World Confederation of Physical Therapy (WCPT) is looking into the international recognition of clinical hours for students and graduates affected by the pandemic. We will share their response as soon as it is published.

(Last updated: 28 May 2020)



Learning online

Will I be disadvantaged by having my lectures online instead of face-to-face? 

A lot of your programme’s content can be delivered online as effectively as if you are sitting in the same room. Many universities use online teaching already and have the required facilities in place. If you and your lecturers are new to distance learning, please be patient and give time to your lecturers and peers to work out what works best. That way you will be able to learn how to get the most out of each session.

It is also important to stay in touch with your year group. Using video (such as Skype, Microsoft Teams, Houseparty or Zoom) and chat apps (like Whatsapp) can be a very useful way to do this.

(Last updated: 24 March 2020)


What will happen if I am unable to complete my university-based practical assessments?

Where it is possible, your programme team will replace practical with alternative assessment formats to enable you to complete them at home. As every programme is structured differently, and module learning outcomes vary, these adaptations will vary across programmes, year groups and, in some cases, individuals. Please keep in touch with your lecturers about the changes made at your university.

(Last updated: 24 March 2020)


I’m struggling to use online resources and access my virtual lectures. What do I do?

Let your programme team know if you are not able to access your resources online or if you are struggling to learn in this way. Your tutors and lecturers (and library staff) will be able to advise you on alternative methods or provide you with extra support. Speak to your university (and peers) if you are experiencing technical issues. Do not suffer in silence. If you are unable to engage with online work in the usual way and feel you have extenuating or mitigating circumstances (e.g. you don t have Wi-Fi in a rural location or you are caring for someone else), speak to your module or course leaders to ensure they are aware of your situation and that you can submit the relevant application for extensions and supply evidence in accordance with your university regulations.

(Last updated: 24 March 2020)



Wellbeing
, finances and communication

How do I stay up to date about COVID-19 developments and its impact on my degree?  

As the COVID-19 situation continues, we will be contacting your university with further advice and guidance. Your university will then contact you to let you know how this impacts you.

We also encourage students to have a read through the CSP’s COVID-19 FAQs and to follow @thecspstudents on Twitter  and  Instagram. We will contact you by email should any developments impact upon your membership (such as the temporary register).

(Last updated: 24 March 2020)


Will I continue to receive my student finance payments?

The Student Loans Company (SLC) has confirmed that students will receive their next maintenance loan instalment at the planned start of the summer term regardless of changes to your teaching (or if you start earning as a support worker to gain clinical placement hours). Students will also be able to apply online for finance as normal. Visit the Government's SLC website for more information (they will provide further updates as necessary).

Additionally, the Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed that all Learning Support Fund payments will continue to be paid. If you receive these, please continue to apply in the usual way.

You should not be required to pay for university accommodation after it has been closed or you have been advised to leave campus.

For more information, read our webpage on financial support for students. If you are concerned about finances, please contact your Student Union for advice and (if you are a CSP student member) seek assistance from the CSP Members Benevolent Fund.

(Last updated: 08 April 2020)

I require childcare. Do I qualify as a key worker?

The Department of Health and Social Care has confirmed to the NHS Business Services Authority that students undertaking clinical healthcare courses are contributing to the national Covid-19 response and can self-identify as key workers. If your school or childcare provider requires evidence, this can be obtained from your university and/or NHS employer.

(Last updated: 23 April 2020)


As a student – how do I best take care of myself and manage my worries?

Please look out for your emotional wellbeing. Seek support from your university’s counselling service, from staff, peers, and family.

You can also find support online and by phone:

  • Mind has provided a toolkit to help you take care of your wellbeing while in self-isolation
  • International SOS offers a video on mental health resilience
  • Big White Wall is an anonymous community where members can support each other
  • Young Minds provides information and guidance on mental health
  • Samaritans are available 24/7 if you need to talk to someone (call 116123)

If you become unwell, please follow the isolation procedures outlined by the government and the NHS 111website and, if working, immediately inform your line manager and withdraw from work. (If you are employed within NHS, you will be entitled to sick pay.)

If you’re worried about how the pandemic will affect your course, please speak directly with your lecturers and tutors. They are co-ordinating local contingency plans which will support you to continue with your studies, this includes placements where possible. Your lecturers are taking advice from the CSP, the Council of Deans of Health (CoDH) and the HCPC. Please note that advice and approaches may well be different from year group to year group or even for individuals, depending on your personal circumstances. They are doing everything possible to support the continuation of your studies so you can graduate as close to when your programme is due to finish as is possible.

We are producing some student videos to help explain what’s going on in the background. Please look out for these on Twitter and Instagram (@thecspstudents).

Take care of yourself, and each other, in the coming weeks and months.

(Last updated: 24 March 2020)


 

If I am working, what can I do to look after myself?

Your employer has a moral and statutory duty of care to protect your health and safety, provide a safe environment to work in, and respond to concerns appropriately. You also have a responsibility to look out for your own wellbeing.

For example, Health Education England, advise employees to:

  • Take regular breaks to reduce the onset of fatigue and associated risks. (Your employer may need to consider additional arrangements if you are required to work longer shifts and/or additional hours.)
  • Know where to go to access local support (e.g. Occupational Health contacts, employee assistance provider (EAP) information, psychological support, counselling services, trade union representatives, etc).
  • Be supported by a clinical supervisor / educator or line manager.
  • Have an effective safety induction into new areas where you are being deployed to ensuring you are familiar with emergency and reporting procedures and any equipment you may be asked to use.
  • Be able to raise concerns, seek reassurance and explore and agree solutions with your line manager where required.

If you are a CSP member, you can also find support from your accredited CSP steward and/or safety rep. Check with other physiotherapists in your workplace to see if your workplace has steward and safety rep (or call CSP Enquires on 020 7306 666 and they can advise you on who this is).

(Last updated: 08 April 2020)


 

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