Express Medicals Ltd Policy for Managing Widespread Illness – Epidemic/Pandemic
In the event of a widespread illness nationally or internationally senior management will keep up to date with, implement and communicate advice from the national/international governing bodies as applicable e.g. Public Health England, NHS, WHO. Proactive measures to reduce the risk of infection spreading include promoting good hygiene practices:
• Regular hand washing or sanitisation with anti-bacterial product, and promoting this to our clients and visitors
• Regular sanitisation of high-contact surfaces e.g. door handles, work surfaces, keyboards/mice and stationery
• Removal of reading materials in reception/waiting areas
• Encouraging staff not to attend work if they have a contagious illness
Reactive measures, if a staff member/s contract a contagious illness, include:
• Send the affected staff member/s home and advise them not to return until the illness has passed (follow advice from governing health bodies)
• Consider home working for unaffected staff members if this is feasible
• If a particular team or geographical area is significantly affected consider asking staff from other departments to assist temporarily if this is feasible, or consider outsourcing key functions (e.g. messaging service)
• As a last resort, temporarily suspend work within that particular team or geographical area
• Communicate with client base and supply chain if business operations will be affected, along with an ETA for return to normal.
• Maintain communications with staff along with an ETA for return to normal.
Express Medicals’ Contingency Plans for Continuity of Service Provision 16/03/2020
In addition to the proactive and reactive measures set out within our Epidemic/Pandemic Policy, Express Medicals’ Chief Medical Officer and Chief Executive Officer will discuss the issue of coronavirus on a daily basis while the outbreak continues. This is in order that they may identify and implement any further measures which may need to be implemented as the situation, and advice from relevant health bodies, changes. They will also monitor the spread of infection throughout the UK, noting whether specific regions are particularly affected so that action can be taken accordingly.
We have made contact with all our employees and also our key suppliers, supplying them with our current Epidemic/Pandemic Policy and asking them to keep us updated with any developments which may affect their, and subsequently our, service provision to our clients. We have assessed the risk to our service provision and factored in what we believe to be the key areas of risk.
• Prevalent localised infection
• High risk activities
• High risk personnel
• Transportation issues • Potential effect on resources
• Potential effect on our supply chain
We already have in place an internal standby system to cover absence of clinical staff throughout the UK. In cases where it is not possible to utilise the standby function, we would consider outsourcing any urgent work to our network of approved suppliers. In extreme circumstances e.g. if the government enforce self-isolation or closure of non-essential businesses we would of course have no option but to cancel or postpone service provision until it is deemed safe to resume. Our For Cause service is supplemented by a UK-wide network of directly employed and selfemployed collection officers, and we also have a contract with an approved third party supplier. This will ensure as far as is reasonably practicable the continuity of our For Cause collection service. The testing laboratories we use are in different geographical locations, and are required as part of their UKAS accreditation to have contingency arrangements with at least two other approved laboratories in case of a disruption to business. We are able to offer management referral (return to work) consultations via telephone and/or video call (subject to satisfactory triage), thus reducing the need for face to face contact between clinical staff and candidates. We are able to conduct business meetings via the above means also, reducing the need for face to face interaction, and associated risks e.g. from commuting, between clients and candidates. We maintain that communication between Express Medicals and our interested parties is vital as ever, and will maintain communications and promote reciprocation from such parties. We are in contact with the building management at all locations from which we operate to establish enhanced cleaning regimes during the coronavirus outbreak, and to encourage reciprocal communications if any personnel within the building contracts, or shows symptoms of, coronavirus.
We have taken expert advice on the safe use of equipment such as breathalysers, spirometers and oral fluid collection kits.
We are dynamically risk assessing our workforce on an ongoing basis, with extra attention paid to: • Employees over the age of 60 • Employees with known pre-existing health conditions
In the event that such an employee is working within a geographical area significantly affected by the coronavirus we will monitor this closely, and if we feel there is a significant risk to the individual we will consider sending them home and either temporarily suspending service provision or, if it is safe to do so, routing the work elsewhere.
We have suspended overseas work for the foreseeable future, and will continue to assess the risk as the pandemic progresses.
In the event that an employee returns from one of the affected countries listed on the NHS website and/or if an employee presents with symptoms of coronavirus, regardless of whether or not they have recently returned from overseas, our policy is to send them home and advise them to selfisolate and contact 111 for advice on whether testing for coronavirus is deemed necessary. If the advice from 111 deems that testing is not necessary, we will advise the employee to remain at home until they feel well enough to return. If the employee subsequently undergoes, and tests positive for coronavirus, we will advise the employee to remain at home for at least 2 weeks, after which time frame one of our doctors will make contact with the employee and conduct a telephone/video assessment to determine whether they are well enough to return to work. In the event of a positive case of coronavirus in an employee, the risk to others working within close proximity must be considered. Potential steps to take in such a situation would be: • Contacting the building management and/or neighbouring businesses to alert them to the situation • Instigating a deep clean of the affected work area • Monitoring the health of employees who may have come into contact with the affected individual, advising them to also remain at home, self-isolate and contact 111 should they develop any symptoms.
In the event that local travel restrictions are put in place as a result of the coronavirus outbreak there is the option for our administrative staff to work from home for a defined period. We will send further communication accordingly if we need to implement any further measures to continue our service provision.