Supporting our clients
Whether you are an NHS trust, private healthcare provider, social care provider, primary care organisation or housing association we are here to support you in a number of ways. We are firmly committed to doing what we can to help to support you in the important work you’re doing.
Therefore, this area will be continually reviewed and updated to reflect any changes that occur and to answer common queries that we receive.
Preparing for the COVID-19 Public Inquiry
The statutory inquiry into the UK’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic under the Inquiries Act 2005 commenced on 21 July 2022. In her opening statement, the Chair Baroness Hallett set out in greater detail than previously, how the Inquiry is going to function, including the breakdown of its first three ‘modules’. This followed the publication of the final Terms of Reference in June. The full text of the opening statement can be accessed here.
Under an Inquiries Act process, individuals and organisations can be compelled to provide documentation, a witness statement and oral evidence under oath. NHS England and NHS Improvement initiated preparation in the health and social care sector with correspondence to healthcare leaders in June 2021. More details on the evidence required will be forthcoming and preliminary hearings on the initial modules will be arranged in late 2022, with substantive hearings in Spring of 2023.
In our experience it is crucial to get ahead of the process, in particular in relation to disclosure obligations. For further information on the services we can provide both now and as the Inquiry process takes shape, please follow this link.
Travel and home working
We have established home working for the majority of our staff and asked all of our people to limit non-essential travel to/between our five offices across the UK. We have also asked our people not to travel to health and social care clients unless it’s essential. This helps to avoid any virus being spread to our people or our clients and, in turn, avoids them spreading any virus across health and social care premises.
Virtual calling and conferences
We are encouraging video conferencing and calls (or off-site meetings where face-to-face is needed). We use Zoom to deliver our video conferencing solution. As a minimum all our staff are on Version 5 of the Zoom app, which has robust and enhanced security features including GCM encryption. Further details in relation to this can be found here and you can read more about the facts around Zoom and encryption for meetings/webinars on their blog here.
If any client or third party wishes us to use another video conferencing platform to engage with us (or on their behalf) then, subject to that platform meeting our own information security requirements, we are happy to support our users with this.
In person events
The safety of our clients and team is our first priority, and we continue to keep a close eye on the latest government guidance. We request that those attending any of our in person events to follow the below measures to support the health and wellbeing of everyone in attendance:
- Attendees are either fully vaccinated with a COVID-19 vaccine used in the UK
- Or have a negative PCR or rapid lateral flow test taken 48 hours prior to the event
- Should try to maintain social distancing to the best of their abilities.
Please avoid attending our events if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
Venues will be well ventilated and regularly cleaned. We will also ensure hand-sanitisers and anti-viral wipes are available on site to help keep communal surfaces clean. We hope that you understand the steps that we have taken to protect our people and our clients but if you have any questions, please let us know.