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4ways COVID-19 response update (July 2020)

As we enter a new month and the country moves to the next phase of the coronavirus recovery measures, we are writing to further update on how we continue to operate around the recovery from the peak of COVID-19.

Last Updated: 07/07/2020

4ways has continued to support critical urgent reporting services to the NHS which in recent weeks has taken a greater emphasis.

As the recovery phase is now in progress and with the further easing of lockdown restrictions from 4th July, 4ways is also in a position to provide our highest level of service to support the resumption of non-covid and elective activity.

With unprecedented waiting lists and the need to avoid any further health crisis, we understand the need for efficient and timely reporting to allow swift diagnosis and allow referrers to make decisions on patient pathways.

Where we have acted throughout is with a view of preparedness. Our measured and proportional response and actions have continued to strengthen the resilience and robustness of our core reporting infrastructure to ensure our teleradiologists, supported by our IT and technical & operational support teams, can continue to provide the first class service our customers are accustomed to receiving.

We fully appreciate the NHS’ need for planning around safety measures combined with the need to address greater volumes. 4ways stands ready to support any reporting requirements across all of our Routine, Specialist, Super Specialist and urgent services. We have ensured that we work safely and in line with Government guidelines to meet customer requirements as activity and patient attendance increases.

What we have done to support Covid-19 requirements

NHS Client SupportFree of charge use of 4ways platform during the peak of Covid- 19 cases for our NHS clients allowing their Radiologists to report Covid-19 Trust activity from home on 4ways systems.

4ways has also provided our expert in-house operational support in administering to this activity through our systems and processes, also free of charge.

Radiologists SupportFree of charge use of 4ways Diagnostic Monitors on Trust equipment

Essential Service Provider – 4ways is designated as an “Essential Service for the Provision of Critical Care” under NHS England. This continues to provide our staff with the permissions they may still need to ensure those with school aged children are able to send their children to school, enabling them to keep working.

NHS England Collaboration – 4ways has worked closely with NHS England’s Independent Sector (IS) Coordination Team which has allowed us to stand ready in wider support of the COVID-19 effort and recovery planning. This is further ensuring that our infrastructure and service provision is geared up in line with regional and national planning.

Clinical Focus4ways has rolled out access to the industry-leading diagnostic and educational support tool STATdx which includes specific modules for the reporting of COVID-19 to help our teleradiologists to continue to deliver a high quality and accurate reporting service to NHS Trusts and private hospitals and aid in the improvement of patient outcomes.

This tool also provides our teleradiologists with the opportunity and platform to expand their knowledge, add to their continuing professional development and maintain their skillset where their normal NHS activity has been reduced.

Radiologist’s Professional Development4ways has been a key sponsor to the Royal College of Radiologist’s educational webinars, enabling on line clinical webinars and learning for all RCR members.

What we are doing in the recovery phase

Technical Infrastructure – 4ways has taken the opportunity to accelerate IT maintenance schedules and upgrade projects, making our systems even more robust and future proof. Our networks have migrated to HSCN and we are already seeing routine activity flowing efficiently through our systems and are well prepared as volumes increase.

Microsoft Teams has been deployed throughout the company to allow ease of access to our clients where we are unable to meet you in person.

Return to Office Working – 4ways has adapted our offices to ensure that we are ready for employees to return to onsite working where appropriate, in line with government guidelines and social distancing requirements:

  • We have reduced staff seating capacity by almost half, clearly marking the desks that should not be occupied.
  • We will stagger start and finish times to avoid congestion.
  • Vulnerability risk assessments form to determine who will return to the office and who will continue to work from home.
  • Clear signage and touch free hand sanitizers have been installed throughout office.
  • A full range of non-clinical PPE is available for staff, including disposable masks and gloves.
  • All staff will have a temperature scan on entry to the offices.

Working from home – All staff have the facility to work securely from home.

We have implemented these and other actions to ensure our robustness ready for the resumption of elective care services and the inevitable increase in demand.

We are available to discuss taking on increased demand from existing and new clients across our full range of services; Day Time Urgent (DTU), Night Time Urgent (NTU), Routine and Specialist reporting.

Given the building patient backlogs we remain very well prepared and positioned to support our clients across all services as we all now work in a phase of recovery.

We believe our current model is robust and is a core part of clients’ Radiology Business Continuity and planning and is continually and flexibly adapting to support the NHS where it needs it the most.

We continue to monitor as we all move away from the peak and will keep you up to date with any further developments. You can find our earlier responses to COVID-19 here.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 01442 260 322 or email