Chief Nurse Fiona Millington explains how you can stay safe during Ramadan this year

Right now, Muslims across the world are observing Ramadan (23 April - 23 May). 

2020’s Ramadan is radically different than before, due to COVID-19 restrictions and social distancing.

We want to make sure you feel supported and safe at work during this time. Follow our guidance to help stay healthy throughout Ramadan. 

Ramadan advice for healthcare workers

On top of new challenges introduced by COVID-19, Ramadan has also fallen during a time of long daylight hours and warmer temperatures. That’s why if you’re fasting, it’s more important than ever to take necessary precautions. 

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has released some useful guidance on how to approach Ramadan this year, which you can find here. The British Islamic Medical Association (BIMA) has also created a resource centre for healthcare workers to help navigate the changes of this Ramadan.

You can be exempt from fasting

The MCB has advised that certain groups may choose to exempt themselves from fasting. 

This includes healthcare staff caring for COVID-19 patients, who may be at risk of dehydration and making clinical errors due to wearing PPE.

Nurses and carers wearing PPE for extended periods may be at increased risk of dehydration, which will make them more susceptible to COVID-19. If you belong to this group, consider the safety of your working environment before beginning your fast.

Safety tips for work during Ramadan

We’ve gathered five essential tips to adopt to help stay healthy during Ramadan. Follow these to help look after yourself this month.

1. Stay hydrated 

During non-fasting hours, hydrate well for the long work days. Dehydration can result in tiredness, headaches and lack of concentration.

2. Plan meals 

Plan your meals in advance for the week and be sure to include high energy, slow-release food such as nuts, oats, chickpeas and medjool dates. Focus on filling meals and minimal snacking to prepare your body for a day of fasting. 

3. Get adequate sleep

Try to get as much sleep as possible around your schedule, as this will help energise you in the absence of regular meals and ahead of your working day. 

4. Take regular breaks

Take regular breaks to rest your body during your shift and reflect on your day. If you feel overwhelmed, tell your colleagues and ask for support. 

5. Share your experience 

Let your employer know that you’ll be fasting so they can assist you, and help make alternative arrangements during your shifts if necessary.

From all of us at Florence, we wish you a happy and peaceful Ramadan. 

Florence is working to keep you, residents and care homes protected during this time. If you are unsure, please see our COVID-19 guidelines on what we are doing to help all Florence users, as well as see our policy for nurses and carers to follow.

If you have any questions, please get in touch by calling your account manager on 020 3911 2555, or emailing us at [email protected]