2. Role and responsibilities of an agency worker
3. Conduct expected of an agency worker
4. Induction training procedures
5. Health assessments, immunisations and pregnancy
6. Benefits package
7. Uniform and identification badges
8. Health and Safety
9. Timesheet processing and payment procedures
10. Codes of Practice
11. Record keeping requirements – in terms of patients records
12. Code of practice guidelines for treating patients in their own homes
13. Procedures for dealing with allegations of abuse or misconduct
14. Assistance and administration of medication policy
15. CMS Drug and Alcohol Policy
16. Data Protection
17. Computer Use
19. Quality Assurance
20. Training and Development including Annual Formal Appraisals
22. Complaint Handling
23. Complaints and procedures
Countrywide Medical Selection (CMS) provides you with this handbook to give you help and
information on all aspects of working as an agency worker.
The content of this handbook is a reflection of the commitment that CMS offers as a preferred
agency supplying staff to the NHS.
Please make sure you are familiar with its contents before you commence working and if at
any time you have any query that is not answered in the handbook please contact your
consultant who will be more than happy to assist you.
This handbook should be read in conjunction with the terms of engagement and confirmation
letter issued to you at the start of your first assignment through CMS.
CMS would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to the team and we look forward to
working on your behalf.
2. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF AN AGENCY WORKER
In accepting an assignment through CMS as an agency worker it is assumed you have read
and, understood and undertaken to abide by the provisions contained in this handbook insofar
? You understand the nature of the work you have agreed to undertake and have
satisfied yourself that your skills and experience are sufficient to complete the work
? You are fit to undertake this work and understand that if at any time you become
unfit to continue with the work you must inform your consultant immediately
? You are registered with the HPC and that you must keep your registration updated
and that if at any time your registration is revoked or lapses you must inform CMS
? You have obtained your CRB disclosure and must keep it updated (different
hospitals/locations may have differing periods when this has to be renewed)
? You are up to date with all training requirements needed for this position
? You are aware that you will need to complete a written annual health check which
will be assessed by the CMS Occupational Health Nurse and any matters arising will
be dealt with in the strictest of confidence
3. CONDUCT EXPECTED OF AN AGENCY WORKER
You are expected at all times to conduct yourself in a manner which is appropriate to your
status as a medical professional and your position as an agency worker. You must at all
times observe the guidelines of professional practice established by the body that represents
your profession and you should endeavour to carry out all work assigned to you diligently and
conscientiously. You should treat all fellow workers and patients with courtesy and respect.
You should follow all rules, regulations and guidelines established in the workplace at all
times and if you have any queries you should address these to a senior member of staff.
You are expected to take all responsible steps to safeguard your own safety and the safety of
any other person who may be present or affected by your actions on the assignment and
comply with the health and safety policies of the Client.
If you are ill and can prove that your illness was the reason for CMS cancelling the supply of yourself by virtue of a certificate from their GP, then no charges should be made by the
Authority under this clause 3.0. CMS must provide the Authority with appropriate evidence.
You should keep your consultant informed at all times of all relevant changes in your
circumstances and any effecting your working environment, especially anything that may
effect your ability to carry out the work in your assignment.
If you are unable for any reason to attend work during an assignment you should inform the Client or CMS within one hour of the commencement of the assignment or shift.
4. INDUCTION TRAINING PROCEDURES
Before commencing an assignment through CMS you must be aware of the following which
are all included in Practical and Online Training:
? Manual Handling
? Basic Life Support (CPR)
? Health and Safety
? Lone Worker
? Violence and Aggression
? Infection Control
? RIDDOR/Risk Incident Reporting
? Child Protection
On commencing your first and any subsequent assignments you must make yourself aware of
? Procedures relating to training
? Crash call procedure
? Violent Episode policy
? How to alert security staff that an individual is in trouble
? Any other in-house policies and procedures you are expected to adhere to
If you have any queries with the above please speak to your supervisor, department head or senior member of staff
5. HEALTH ASSESSMENTS, IMMUNISATIONS AND PREGANCY
Whilst working for CMS you are required to:
? Complete an annual Health Assessment
? Keep your immunisations up to date
? Report any injury and declare yourself unfit to practice if you are suffering from
vomiting, diarrhoea or a rash
? Inform CMS if you become pregnant
? You may be required to have a medical examination by the trust prior to the
commencement of any shift or assignment
Members should be aware of and abide by the requirements of HSC 1998/226 “Guidance on
the Management of AIDS/HIV Infected Health Care Workers and Patient Notification”
? If you believe you may have been exposed to HIV infection in any way you should seek
medical advice from your GP or Occupation Health Department and, where appropriate,
undergo diagnostic HIV antibody testing.
? If you are found to be infected, you must again seek guidance from your GP or
Occupational Health Department
? If you are found to be HIV positive and perform or assist with invasive surgical procedures
you must stop this immediately and seek adivse from your GP or Occupational Health
Department regarding what action, if any, should be taken
? Please be aware that it is the obligation of all health workers to notify their employer and
where appropriate, the relevant professional regulatory body, if they are aware of HIV
positive individuals who have not heeded advice to modify their working practice
Please note the above guidance does not supersede current Department of Health
Guidelienes (in particular HSC 1198/226) or local practices and procedures.
Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is the name given to a range of strains
of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. MRSA exists on the hands or in the nose of around one third
of the healthy population and is usually harmless. It can however prove fatal if it enters the bloodstream of an already weakened patient.
It is usually transmitted by touch. The single most effective measure for preventing MRSA
contamination is washing hands before and after every patient contact.
In addition, please:
? Use liquid soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub when washing hands – make
sure it comes into contact with all areas
? Remove wrist and preferably hand jewellery at the beginning of each shift where you will
be regularly decontaminating your hands
? Wear disposable gloves and aprons when attending to dressings or dealing with blood
and body fluids (sterile gloves should only be worn when performing aseptic techniques) ? Dispose of gloves and aprons after use
? Cover cuts or breaks in your skin or those of patients/clients with waterproof dressings
If you come into contact with a patient who is later found to be contaminated with MRSA, it
may be necessary to attend screening sessions at the Hospital’s Occupational Health
Department. During this time and before you have been declared clear from MRSA, we may
be restricted in the assignments we can offer you due to the risks of infection.
In the event of you requiring any further information, please contact CMS.
6. BENEFITS PACKAGE
CMS prides itself on its personal, efficient and highly professional service and offers
numerous benefits including:
? Top rates of pay
? Assistance with banking affairs and tax advice
? Advice on drafting your CV
? Assistance with finding accommodation
? Free Professional Indemnity Insurance
? Ongoing career advice
7. UNIFORM AND IDENTIFICATION BADGES
You are required to dress appropriately at all times while you are working on assignment on
behalf of CMS. Standard dress code is:
? Occupational Therapists
White tunic and green trousers or white dress with green piping
White tunic and blue trousers or white dress with blue piping
? Speech and Language Therapists
No uniform required
In some departments you can wear a plain cotton polo shirt with your professional embroidered onto it but always check with your supervisor before deviating from your standard uniform.
You must at all times wear the identification badge issued to you by CMS, which includes your photograph, your profession and your HPC number.
8. HEALTH AND SAFETY
Under the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974, it is your duty to:
? Take reasonable care for the health and safety at work of yourself and any other people
who might be affected by your acts or omissions ? Co-operate with your employer and others to enable them to comply with statutory duties
? Not intentionally or recklessly misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety
The Management of Health & Safety at Work Regulations 1992 further requires you to:
? Use any equipment, etc., provided in the interests of safety
? Follow health & safety instructions
? Report anything you consider to be a serious danger
? Report any shortcomings in the protection arrangements for health & safety
When on assignment, it is the client’s responsibility to familiarise you with their own Health & Safety policy and procedures, and with locations of fire escapes, first aid contact person etc. At a client’s request in writing, CMS will undertake to train Members to be supplied in
standard workstation safety. We cannot, however, be held responsible for the suitability of workstations used by our clients. If you express concern over the Health & Safety arrangements of your employing client, we will ask the client to investigate and, if possible, to0 make improvements.
If you refuse to work for a client on Health & safety grounds, we will attempt to find you other employment without prejudice.
9. TIMESHEET PROCESSING AND PAYMENT PROCEDURES
You are required to complete a timesheet provided by CMS on a weekly basis recording your hours of work excluding your lunch break. This must be signed by your Supervisor on completion.
To ensure prompt payment this must be received no later than 9am on Wednesday morning for payment to be made into your account by early afternoon of the following Friday. To avoid postal delays we recommend that your completed timesheet is faxed to CMS prior to posting. It is the individual therapist’s responsibility to ensure their timesheet reaches CMS.
10. CODES OF PRACTICE
CMS expect you to be familiar with and to comply at all times to the following:
? HPC Code of Practice
? The Scope of Professional Practice
You are also required to abide by the rules of professional conduct applicable to your profession.
? Occupational Therapists – www.cot.co.uk
? Physiotherapists – www.csp.org.uk
? Speech and Language Therapists – www.rcslt.org.uk
11. RECORD KEEPING REQUIREMENTS – IN TERMS OF PATIENTS RECORDS
CMS has adopted the guidelines provided by the professional body representing your profession namely The Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, The College of Occupational Therapy, The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy in respect of record keeping for patient records.
You are expected to familiarise yourself with and to observe these guidelines at all times.
12. CODE OF PRACTICE GUIDELINES FOR TREATING PATIENTS IN THEIR OWN
CMS expect you to adhere to the guidelines set up by your specific organisation/body when working in a community setting. You must also ascertain with your supervisor if any internal policies or procedures are in place before treating patients in their own homes.
13. PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH ALLEGATIONS OF ABUSE OR
Any therapist who has evidence of an allegation of abuse has a duty to make this known confidentially to his/her superior. For further information or to clarify procedures you are advised to speak to your Supervisor or Head of Department.
14. ASSISTANCE AND ADMINISTRATION OF MEDICATION POLICY
You are expected to be familiar with the policies and procedures set up by your professional body with regard to the extent and limits of your responsibility while on assignment in respect of the Assistance and Administration of Medication Policy.
If you are not sure as to your responsibilities seek advice immediately from a senior member of staff.
15. CMS DRUG AND ALCOHOL POLICY
CMS recognises that alcohol and drug abuse are to be treated primarily as health problems. This policy aims to ensure that staff facing these problems are motivated to seek appropriate counselling and treatment in the knowledge that CMS will respond sensitively without recourse for disciplinary procedures in the first instance.
Those who recognise that they are suffering from these problems need to seek advice, assistance and treatment as soon as possible. Support and guidance can initially be obtained from the CMS Occupational Health Adviser or GP.
For the purpose of the policy, alcohol or drug abuse is defined as taking either of alcohol or drugs without or in disregard of medical advice, to the extent that serious and sustained detriment is caused to an employee’s work and/or his or her professional relationship with colleagues.
Good Practice at Work:
The consumption of alcohol by agency staff is inappropriate prior to the commencement of duty, at any time when on duty, during meal breaks and whenever it will result in unacceptable work performance.
Agency staff must adhere to Trust policies on alcohol and drug abuse and should raise any issues of concern relating to the latter to their managers which will be treated in the strictest of confidence.
Recognising substance abuse:
Substance abuse may be the cause or the symptoms of a variety of problems at work. The earlier that individuals with difficulties are identified the greater the likely success of treatment.
A combination of some of the following characteristics may indicate the presence of a substance abuse problem:
2. High accident rate
3. Difficulty concentrating
4. Spasmodic work patterns
5. Generally deteriorating job efficiency
6. Poor employee relations at work
Suspected substance abuse in itself is not a disciplinary offence unless it takes place immediately prior to or during duty and has an adverse effect on the individual’s performance.
The Employing Trust has a responsibility to ensure the safety of staff, members of the public and patients in its care. It is therefore in their best interest to make CMS aware of any concerns that may have about any agency staff who is suspected of substance abuse. CMS Management will treat this in the strictest confidence.
On becoming aware of a potential problem, the CMS management will in discussion with the agency worker and if the problem is confirmed advise he or she to seek medical advice from a GP and will offer the support of the CMS Occupational Health Adviser.
16. DATA PROTECTION
You are required to be familiar with the following requirements for the disclosure of information under the Data Protection Act.
You are safeguarded against any possible misuse of personal information held by us through our strict control of its use, and in doing this we do our best to ensure that such info is:
? Kept for a valid reason
? Up to date
? Kept confidential
You are required to inform CMS immediately is there is any change to your personal details.
For further information, please see www.dataprotection.gov.uk, from which the above
guidance is reproduced.
17. COMPUTER USE
Where our clients grant you access to their computer systems, these must only be used as authorised and not to gain access to any other data or programs. In general, please ensure that you:
? Keep any passwords safe
? Keep to the client’s policies and procedures
? Log off immediately after use
Specifically, you must:
? Observe any local policies and procedures regarding passwords, floppy disks, CD ROMs
and data storage/transfer
? Not load or introduce any programs onto the computer
? Not access any information service or bulletin board including the Internet without specific
prior authority from your line manager
? Not download any files or connect to any network or other computer equipment without
prior authority as above
Any patient information obtained by you during the course of your duties is confidential and should not be disclosed to any third party if it is not legitimately in connection with their treatment or any other official investigation.
Please take care with patient records when on assignment to ensure that they are not in undue danger of being accessed by unauthorised individuals.
Patients’/Clients’ information should only normally be shared with their consent – you should
make sure patients /clients understand that their information may be shared with various members of the team providing care. It’s a patients’/clients’ decision what information should be shared with their family or others.
Where a patient/client is considered incapable of giving consent, please consult relevant colleagues. Where a patient/client has withheld consent, disclosures of information may only be made if:
? They can be justified in the public interest (normally where the disclosure is essential to
protect the patient/client or someone else from risk of significant harm). ? They are required by law or court order.
You should act in accordance with local and national policies if there is an issue of child protection.
19. QUALITY ASSURANCE
CMS is committed to providing the highest standard of service to all our Clients and Locums and to adhering to applicable legislation.
The Agency’s Overall Services will be measured by it’s quality of Locums, the
professionalism of it’s recruiters and the upholding of the highest standards in recruitment
practice and its ability to supply.
We therefore commit to the following standards:
Recruitment and Selection will comply with the requirements of the:
? NHS National Framework Agreement
? DOH Code of Practice for the Supply of Temporary Staffing
? DOH Code of Practice for NHS Employers involved in the international Recruitment of
? Health Professions Council
? Criminal Records Bureau
? Department of Health
? Equal Opportunities Code: Sex Discrimination Act 1975, Race Relations Act 1976,
Disability Discrimination Act 1995
? Health and Safety at Works Act 1974 and 1999
? Data Protection Act 1998
? The Asylum and Immigration Act 1996
? NHS Zero Tolerance Policy
? The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974
On this basis pre-employment checks will include obtaining:
? Two written professional references
? Criminal Records Bureau Enhanced Disclosures Check
? HPC Registration Details
? Qualifications and experience verification
? Health screening and immunisation certificates
? Work visas (if required)
? Personal identification
? Written application form and Curriculum Vitae
? Qualifying telephone interview in accordance with our Equal Opportunities Policy
20. TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Please keep up to date with all relevant clinical guidance as well as attending to your CPD requirements. You must have annual training in all courses.
Please ensure your training record is kept up to date at all times by sending it to our office, together with proof of training completed, after any new course. We will review your training at regular intervals. For further details, please contact your consultant.
ANNUAL FORMAL APPRAISALS
We will appraise you during your first three months with us and biannualy thereafter. Appraisals give us an opportunity to consider with you your performance at work. They are also an opportunity for you to raise any concerns or issues you may have.
Appraisals are carried out based on feedback received from clients and cover the following areas:
? General levels of service including punctuality, attitude and ability to carry out practical
? Clinical performance
? Training needs
? Any other issues, including progress since the last appraisal
CMS shall inform the Authority if you have been (or are) subject to any kind of investigation or prosecution by the police after the CRB check was undertaken by us in accordance with the Specification. We shall all use reasonable endeavours to ensure that you inform them of such an investigation or prosecution. If you report such an investigation or prosecution to us, then we shall, in addition to any other appropriate action, immediately inform the Authority
and will comply with any of the Authority’s policies and procedures with regards to such matters.
22. COMPLAINT HANDLING
During the course of your work with CMS you will come across complaints from
patients/clients. It is the policy of CMS to deal with any expression of dissatisfaction in a professional and precise manner. If you are on an assignment within an establishment, please report any complaints to a senior person and document all details of the complaint. You must also report the Complaint to your CMS recruitment consultant or their manager. All
complaints must be investigated within a specified time limit and resolved as soon as possible and this is the responsibility of the CMS recruitment manager. You may however, be requested to put details of the complaint in writing on a complaint record form and/or attend an interview to investigate details further.
In the event that you are under investigation for any form of Malpractice including but not limited to investigation by the CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) and/or any other regulatory body after you have registered with CMS you are obliged to notify us immediately of such event.
If you personally are the subject of a complaint you will also be asked to record details as part of an investigation and in some circumstances it may be necessary to suspend you from duty whilst the investigation is in process. Any complaints of misconduct against individuals will be reported to the HPC or other Registration Body. If you have any complaints about any aspects of your work at CMS please do not hesitate to contact us. Any complaints from individuals will be dealt with in a professional and confidential manner.
23. COMPLAINTS AND PROCEDURES
If you have a complaint about the way you have been treated on assignment or by our staff, please direct this in the first instance to your Consultant or their Manager. Under our Complaints procedure CMS guarantees the following:
Timescales for resolution:
? All complaints – acknowledged in writing within 3 working days
? All complaints resolved in 15 calendar days unless nature of complaint requires further
investigation e.g. HPC/Police
? Details of how complaint has been resolved notified to the Authority within 15 calendar
23b. COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
All complaints received from either the Locum or the Client will be resolved as quickly as possible.
Any complaint, whether informal or formal, may not be straightforward and, apart from the complaints procedure, may lead to one or more of these:
? Criminal law/litigation
? Investigation into sexual harassment
? Grievance procedure
? Investigation into fraud
1. In the first instance a complaint must be communicated to the recruitment consultant who placed
the Locum. Countrywide Medical Selection will resolve the complaint, depending on its nature, as