Health and Social Care students on work placement

Health and Social Care students currently on work placement

This guidance was last updated on Friday 5 March 2021.

Clinical placements have very effective processes in place to manage patients with coronavirus. Please follow the guidance and policies in your work placement. Students who may be required to deliver clinical care to affected patients should have the necessary skills and knowledge, including infection prevention and control measures needed to work in such environments. 

If you are a healthcare student in a work placement and have any concerns about your ability to provide care to patients affected by COVID-19, please speak with your practice supervisor/practice educator/clinical educator or the HSC College Student Centre placements team via email:

You are assessed for each placement area based on your Covid risk level. This does not take into account your family situation. With full infection control measures in place during placement this should minimise any risk to those you live with. Please follow the government guidelines.

If the vulnerable person is shielding or continues to self-isolate when shielding is paused, there is specific guidance for others whom they live with.

Ask your practice supervisor/practice educator/clinical educator if the work placement has also issued any additional guidance you can follow too.

You will be offered individual support and advice around academic and practice learning support, as necessary.

Under the current guidance available at if you come into contact with someone with the virus, you may be asked to self-isolate. It is important that you report this to the University using both the online form and the placement absences process:   

Email: – for all programmes across HSC.  

Tel:        01332 592099 

You will be offered individual support and advice around academic and practice learning support, as necessary.  

Please notify your work placement as soon as possible. Please report the absence to the HSC College student Centre. 

Email: – for all programmes across HSC.  

Tel:        01332 592099 

It is important that you stipulate the reason for your absence. 

No, this alone will not result in a failed placement. The University will endeavour to find an alternative placement if at all possible. Where this is not possible, your programme leader will contact you regarding arrangements for making up hours and meeting your standards/ competencies as quickly as they can. 

We are aware that one of the issues that will cause greatest anxiety, particularly among final year students, is how the COVID-19 outbreak may impact on their ability to undertake the required practice hours. However, please be reassured that we will be taking a supportive approach to enable the accumulation of practice hours in these circumstances.

If you find yourself with deficit of practice hours, your programme leader will support you on an individual basis to achieve the requirements. 

  • If you have reported that you are sick, this will be recorded as sickness absence 
  • If you are self-isolating but are well, this will be recorded as authorised absence 
  • If you are well but have to stay at home for childcare/caring responsibilities, this will be recorded as authorised absence.  

All students who may be required to deliver clinical care to affected patients must be provided with training and information on any additional infection prevention and control measures needed to work in such environments by the work placement organisation.

This will include the safe donning and removal of personal protective equipment (PPE). Any special protective equipment personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided by the work placement organisation.

If you are unsure of the local guidance, or have any concerns, please speak with your practice supervisor / clinical educator / practice educator. 

As an apprentice you need to meet the requirements of your apprenticeship as well as those set by the University and your employer. We recognise that during this time you may need to be redeployed or you may not be able to participate in your apprenticeship in the same way as normal.

You can achieve your 20% off-the-job learning throughout your programme, and government guidance has been that apprenticeships should continue where possible. Therefore, it will be appropriate to take a flexible approach to practice and theory elements of your programme.

If you are not able to continue your apprenticeship at the current time you are able to take a break in learning.

Where these arrangements have been in place, due to current government guidance on non-essential staff entering the workplace, academic staff are unable to visit placement. Personal academic tutors will continue to support you virtually via phone/ Skype / email

Please contact them with any placement support you may need, except for reporting sickness and absence, which should be reported to the HSC College student centre placements team using these details: 

Email: – for all programmes across HSC.  

Tel:        01332 592099 

The advice from Public Health England must be followed

Please ensure that you email the HSC College Student Centre placements team to inform them you will be returning to your placement.


Tel: 01332 592099

You should also contact the placement when you are recovered, to advise them of your planned return. You must also ensure that you check this website and your university emails to familiarise yourself on any relevant updates.

We understand that you may have some anxieties if you have a placement in a healthcare setting and you are pregnant. We would recommend that any student who is pregnant and feels vulnerable should remove themselves from placement. Please report this absence using the sickness and absence process.

Email: - all programmes across HSC

Tel: 01332 592099

Current government information advises that your risk level changes when you are pregnant so please advise if you are due to go to placement and are pregnant so we can ensure suitable placement allocation for your risk level.

For pregnant women from 28 weeks gestation, or with underlying health conditions such as heart or lung disease at any gestation, a more precautionary approach is advised. Women in this category are recommended to stay at home. You should therefore remove yourself from placement and report the absence using the process above. Please notify your placement lead when you learn of your pregnancy if this will impact on a future planned placement.

For more specific information regarding your particular programme and cohort, please check the University emails sent to you and the programme announcements on Blackboard.