Shift handover/team meeting/team huddle

  • There may be circumstances that are relevant to the workplace on any given day. Clinicians discuss the specific concerns, risks or requirements for the shift (patient interaction, patient transfer or home visit etc).
  • There is a sharing of situational awareness.
  • There is discussion and agreement about the care and safety procedures for the immediate period.


  • There may be contextual issues that are relevant to clinicians’ considerations of COVID safety and/or general safety. E.g. bed availability, access to specialty tertiary beds, demand pressure on ED, closure of a ward for cleaning, staff off work in isolation due to COVID exposure.
  • Consideration of these issues may inform decisions and actions required of mental health clinicians and teams.

Example questions for staff and teams to consider

  • In the past two weeks, have you had any COVID-19 symptoms?
  • Have you had close contact with anyone with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19? Is it business-critical that you come on-site or can you conduct your work virtually?
  • What is the vaccine status of our team today?
  • During our shift, how often will people be exposed to undifferentiated patients?
  • During our shift, how long might people be exposed to undifferentiated patients?
  • During our shift, how effective are current controls in reducing exposure to undifferentiated patients?
  • During our shift, could any changes in patient demand or acuity increase the likelihood of exposure to undifferentiated patients?
  • During our shift, is exposure to undifferentiated people more likely because of the working environment (ambulatory patients, shared treatment rooms, waiting areas, common meal areas etc.)?
  • During our shift, could the way people act and behave effect the likelihood of exposure to undifferentiated patients (e.g., taking clinical shortcuts, increased stress or fatigue, not using PPE, not coming back from breaks on time)?
  • During our shift, do the differences between individuals in the workplace make it more likely for exposure to undifferentiated patients to occur (e.g., do we have new staff, staff with disabilities, visitors, contractors, or members of the public visiting)?
  • Do you agree to follow our COVID-19 precautions to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Current as at: Wednesday 20 October 2021
Contact page owner: Health Protection NSW