Our office accommodation is COVID-secure, however the majority of our colleagues continue to work at home within our secure VDI environment, in line with the recent national lockdown guidance.
The wellbeing of our colleagues and providing a great customer service is at the forefront of our approach, with robust deployment of the Government guidelines on how to work safely in offices.
A robust process for arranging remote video appointments was implemented in April and has been successful in progressing cases during these challenging times. The process ensures informed consent is requested from the claimant and will only be utilised if you have provided your agreement for video appointments. In light of the national lockdown commencing on Thursday 5th November, we have outlined our process changes below.
MedCo have confirmed that face-to-face appointments are no longer permitted during the latest national lockdown. The full MedCo statement can be viewed here. Therefore, our processes will revert back to the remote model we introduced in April 2020.
The Premex team has started the process of rearranging any face-to-face MedCo appointments scheduled during the upcoming lockdown. Where we have your authority for remote appointments, clients will be contacted to obtain their consent and these appointments will be re-booked accordingly if appropriate. If consent is not obtained, we will book another face-to-face appointment for a future date.
For both new and existing referrals, where the client and the expert both consent and where it is suitable to proceed with a face-to-face appointment, this will be facilitated. All appointments will take place in line with our COVID-secure guidelines, developed following comprehensive risk assessments. Please contact us immediately if you do not wish for us to proceed with any face-to-face appointments for your clients during this time.
Please be aware that we still anticipate some disruption to Non-MedCo face-to-face appointments booked during the lockdown period as a result of the decision by some venues and NHS facilities to close, either for the purposes of ‘non-NHS’ work or altogether. Where this happens, we will contact the instructing party on a case-by-case basis to discuss alternative options.
Many medical experts have primary care responsibilities, which have become more acute during the pandemic. This has resulted in increased supply chain management, especially where face-to-face appointments have resumed.
We have provided detailed guidance to the expert panel to ensure their venues are COVID secure and that they are aware of the high standards we expect in line with the safety guidance set out by the Government. As this remains fluid and ever changing, we are working continuously to ensure the information provided to experts is up to date.
Whilst lockdown and social distancing measures are in place we can arrange a remote video appointment for you. Appointments via a video call are similar to face-to-face appointments, except that these are done remotely using tools such as WhatsApp or Skype. During the current COVID-19 situation, it is likely that we will be able to arrange a video appointment much sooner than a standard face to face appointment. Our guide to remote appointments can be found here and we have compiled a Skype user guide to help you, which you can view here. We will request your consent prior to arranging a video appointment and will also ensure your solicitor has provided their agreement.
We are in a position to facilitate some face-to-face appointments during the third lockdown period. As always, your safety is of paramount importance to us. If you are offered and are comfortable attending a face-to-face appointment, please ensure you read the 'Face to Face Appointments (Claimants Guidance)' document that can be found below, before attending your appointment.
If you have any questions or are unsure whether you should attend a face to face appointment, please contact us on 01204 478 361.
Obtaining Medical Records
We continue to request medical records and liaise with the NHS Trusts to obtain these as soon as possible. The COVID-19 impact has resulted in some delays, predominantly from GP practices due to some remaining partially closed. Medical record requests from other settings are now largely arriving within SLA and we continue to chase these as priority.
As we are no longer operating from our offices, suppliers who are usually paid by cheque should now switch to payment via BACS wherever possible. If we don’t currently hold details for you, please download the form below and send the required details by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.