Keeping Visitors and Staff Safe within the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic
During the SARS CoV-2 (COVID-19) pandemic, we have all learned that all businesses must be agile and responsive in order to lower the risk of transmission of coronavirus during the normal day to day running of the occupational health service. To protect the public and staff, The Health and Work Consultancy Ltd has put into place suitable and sufficient measures to protect the health of your employees visiting the service.
Remote or Face to Face Assessments?
There has been a large increase in the provision of remote occupational health assessments to eliminate the risks of COVID-19 to protect both occupational health staff and the Public. with increasing R Rates in some areas of the North of England and Wales in response to strategies to re-open the economy, we have considered what is considered essential face to face assessment and what can be performed remotely. As the risk of infection in the general community remains low, we will balance the benefits of face to face assessment and face to face risks to the staff and employee group we will provide occupational health services for.
It is important to note that both telephone and video calls can be encrypted to maintain the security of confidential information. Furthermore, phone and video calls can be used to cover many occupational health topics with a high degree of success.
For further information on remote consultations in occupational health please click on the YouTube Video link below:
Remote assessment for industry specific assessments or Health Surveillance.
The Health and Safety Executive have set out clear position statements regarding the provision of Occupational Health Surveillance within the Coronavirus pandemic. This is set out below;
In order to reduce employee contact with clinicians, the Health and safety executive currently advises the use of remote health questionnaires, which can be followed up by telephone or remote video consultation where appropriate. Face to face consultations can only be performed strictly within a COVID-19 secure environment.
COVID-19 Secure Environments at The-HWC Offices
We have attempted as far as possible to make any of our premises, both at Cardiff Medicentre, Heath Park, Cardiff or One Canada Square, London ‘Covid secure’.
- Visitors are expected to take part in a symptom check before entering the clinic.
- We have installed Perspe panels along the reception desk.
- Clearly marked out "Social distancing recommendations".
- Minimise staff interaction.
- Equip our clinicians with the additional PPE when onsite
- Use video and phone consultations wherever appropriate.
- Please arrive no more than 5 minutes before your appointment time with the Occupational clinician.
- Sanitise you hands with the disinfectant provided within the reception areas:
- You will be expected to wear a face mask in public areas. If you are exempt due to any medical problems, please bring proof of this with you to your appointment. We will provide you with a mask in the event of doubt.
- Please maintain social distancing as you may have to wait outside for the first few minutes.
- We are limiting the number of visitors into the clinic at any one time with a gap between appointments depending upon prior risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the preceding employee appointment.
Within the clinical areas:
- We have reduced the number of persons in any one work area to comply with social distancing rules and open windows in preference to the use of air conditioning to improve clinic room airflow.
We have adopted stringent hand decontamination and cleaning regimes. Clinical rooms are cleaned after every visitor using hospital grade antiviral cleaning solution.
In line with other occupational health providers, to cover additional costs of PPE that we now need to use to keep us all safe,all appointments booked will have a safety surcharge added to the fees to cover some of the costs of the enhanced PPE we need to use.
This is calculated depending upon the type of appointment and whether we need to use regular or enhanced PPE, as some occupational health activities need less protection than others. For treatments that do not produce any form of aerosol (Non-AGP procedures) the additional cost of will be £10 for the visit. For procedures that create an aerosol (Lung function tests, breath tests) the additional costs will be £40.
We are committed to keeping costs to a minimum and hope to reduce this further as the costs for PPE reduces, or the need for enhanced safety measures decreases or are no longer needed.
These are huge changes or all of us.
We hope that as more knowledge about the spread of this disease improves, many of these procedures may no longer be necessary. However, at this time, we feel it is important to take every precaution to keep you and our team safe.