The outbreak of COVID-19 is affecting businesses across the length and breadth of the country and we are no different. We are all in unprecedented times.
Whilst this situation is fluid and will continue to evolve, we wanted to take this opportunity to share an update on how we are tackling this crisis and the measures we are taking. Rest assured, protecting the health and well-being of our partners and their clients, our supply chain and our employees remains our number one priority.
We have implemented our infectious disease protocol plans to ensure public safety and continuity of service following Government, NHS and Public Health England advice given yesterday.
Our Employees - Office Closure
Our physical offices are now closed in line with recent Government advice. We have taken this step as the safety of our employees and their families is incredibly important to us. We are operating on a fully functioning remote network and our email and telephony systems remain operational.
Certain operations may still need to happen, such as the collection of mail, and these will be done on a carefully considered basis by designated individuals. Response times to traditional post may therefore be a little longer than usual. If you are able, please switch to electronic correspondence. Our emails are being constantly monitored and responded to quickly.
In line with the latest guidance for ‘vulnerable groups’, we have identified all clients over the age of 70 with medical appointments booked before the end of July 2020 and are now actively making contact with them, wherever possible, in order to re-arrange these in line with Government guidelines.
We have robust processes in place for both patients and our treatment providers to cancel or rearrange appointments for whatever reason (e.g. they need to self-isolate). We are working currently working to normal SLAs, service standards and BAU processes, but this is subject to dynamic context in which we now operate.
Obtaining Medical Records
We have recently been contacted by a number of NHS trusts in regards to the release of medical records, requested for some cases. The operational impact of COVID-19 at NHS Trusts and GP surgeries means they are redeploying staff and are operating at a much reduced capacity within their medical records and administration departments. As a result, there may be delays in receiving medical records. This may significantly impact case lifecycles. As of 27th March, at the request of the trusts, we have stopped requesting medical records at trusts/surgeries who have proactively contacted us about their delays to try and ease their operational burden during this crucial time for the NHS.
We are actively engaging with our panel of medical experts and have issued guidance on how to deal with vulnerable clients and best practice for pre-appointment contact to identify these, particularly in light of the Government’s own advice. A copy of this guidance can be downloaded below.
Your safety is our top priority. Your appointment will be carried out by a trained medical professional and guidance from the Government and the General Medical Council confirmed that at this time the appointments can still go ahead.
Unless you have been contacted directly by a member of our team (who may inform you that your assigned expert may be self-isolating or you may have been identified as falling into the vulnerable person category), your appointment will still go ahead as planned. However, if you do not feel comfortable attending your appointment, you can rearrange it by logging on to Client Vu or by calling us and letting us know on 01204 478300.
You should also contact us if you have travelled to one of the countries listed in the Government updates or if you believe you have an underlying health condition which we may be unaware of that makes you a vulnerable person.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms issued in official guidance (a new continuous cough and/or high temperature) then you should contact us immediately to rearrange your appointment. You should not attend your current appointment. Your rearranged appointment will take place no earlier than 14 days from the date you first experienced symptoms.
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.
We will continue to provide updates as and when they are available.