The full extent of the impact of COVID-19 is impossible to accurately predict and the situation is anticipated to rapidly evolve.
The advice on these pages should only therefore be used to guide local decision-making.
Given the unprecedented challenge to service delivery, it includes measures that may need to be implemented during a time of high levels of sickness of professional staff and limited resources.
In doing so, patient and staff safety must always come first, ensuring patients can safely and effectively receive the care and treatment they need, whilst staff are also protected. Any such measures should only be in place on a time-limited basis until such time that normal service delivery can resume.
We recognise that during these difficult times it might be necessary for clinicians to work beyond their usual disciplinary boundaries and we trust as dedicated professionals they will be happy to do so. But this must be proportionate to their expertise and area of training and knowledge.
The four UK chief medical officers, the national medical director, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges and the GMC have written to all UK doctors (PDF) stressing that it will be appropriate and necessary for clinicians to work beyond their usual disciplinary boundaries and specialisms under these difficult circumstances, and they will support individuals who do so.
Equivalent considerations apply for nurses, AHPs and other registered health professionals.