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4ways’ response to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19)

In light of the escalating concerns around COVID-19, 4ways has initiated business continuity plans to maintain operations and proactively manage the risk to our organisation, staff and clients.

Last Updated: 16/03/2020

In addition, there will be national and local responses to this and we will closely monitor developments and continually review our situation as these events unfold.

Below you will find the latest update to how we are responding to the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Risks & Continuity Plans

The identified risks to the business are:

1. Radiologists

Radiologists engaged with 4ways provide their reporting services from their individual home locations and are widely spread across the country so no regional concentration issues as well. Cross contamination and regional concentration risks across this group is low.

2. Staff

Key operational employees administering to reporting activity and allocation, along with wider staff supporting and managing the business, have contingency equipment to work remotely from home supported by our IT platform as standard.

This facility is now actively in use and increased across all departments to provide a combination of home and office working, reducing exposure across our employees at our central office location. In proactively doing so, we protect staff members who may be considered vulnerable, have proactively prepared for parents of school aged children should closures be enforced and are supporting staff to continue to work in instances of self-isolation.

We have increased the frequency of cleaning schedules within our central office location and all staff currently working from the office has been instructed to follow the office hygiene guidance shown below.

3. Business Development/Key Account Management

We swiftly identified that these staff visiting clients in hospitals/clinics have the potential to expose themselves and their colleagues. As such, the following measures have been implemented

a. Postponement of external visits to hospital/clinic environments, reverting to remote/virtual technologies to hold review meetings and liaise with clients as to how best we can support them during this period.

b. Virtual internal meetings keeping these staff away from the main office and each other while continuing to exercise their roles and interact with wider staff both in the office and home working.

c. Prospect meetings, presentations and events – As the NHS moves focus to implementing their own continuity planning; we have seen a general postponement and/or cancellation of such activities. Where these do proceed, 4ways will utilise video conferencing. We will not attend events in clinical settings or events with large gatherings.

4. IT/Technical (Possible Supply Chain Disruption)

4ways have recently undertaken a complete refresh of all Radiologist workstations and internal hardware throughout 2019 and into 2020, in line with our internal upgrade program. This being the case, our requirements for system replacement and repair are limited and any individual issue will not impact the wider service delivery in the event of disruptions to the supply chain. We therefore consider this aspect of planning to be low risk.

4ways has good availability of equipment and the infrastructure to support further remote home working installations and will action accordingly.

5. Visitors to 4ways offices

Exposure to virus from main place of work/unknown sources is an identified risk which we have mitigated by the following actions:

Where possible, meetings with external contractors, vendors etc will be held remotely. Any non-essential supplier visits to our central office location will be stopped.

Any remaining external visitors will be required to confirm they are not showing symptoms of Coronavirus, do not have household members who have Coronavirus or are being tested and have not come into contact with anyone who is confirmed to have it.

Visitors returned/travelled from known areas of risk will be requested not to attend site.

All visitors to 4ways offices will be requested to use hand sanitisers placed at reception on arrival and departure and to comply with internal hygiene measures.

Office Hygiene Actions:

a. Handwashing and hygiene communication issued to the business and hygiene display signage increased. Regular reminders issued.

b. Hand Gel Sanitisers/Anti-bacterial wipes distributed around all areas of the offices so all areas, staff and visitors have ability to maintain hand hygiene.

c. Cleaning contractor instructed to conduct enhanced process for cleaning desks with anti-bacterial cleaning solution along with common surfaces such as door handles / kitchen facilities etc.

d. Desk and equipment wipe down with anti-bacterial wipes.at the start of shift as standard.

e. Staff who exhibit relevant flu symptoms instructed to remain out of the office.

The 4ways model is well suited to support your Coronavirus (Covid19) BCP and we are already well positioned and supporting multiple Trusts. This is due to our Radiologists reporting individually and remotely at home therefore limiting risk of cross contamination, compared with reporting rooms in trusts or teleradiology reporting hubs deployed by other companies.

We are available to discuss taking on increased demand from existing and new clients across our full range of services; Routine, Day Time Urgent (DTU), Night Time Urgent (NTU) and Specialties. Given the current situation the significance of Day Time Urgent and Scans reported within 4 Hours has gone up even more and we are well positioned to support our Clients with these.

We believe our current model is robust and is already a core part of clients’ Radiology Business Continuity Plans.

We continue to monitor the situation and will keep you up to date with any further developments.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 01442 260 322 or email info@4waysdiagnostics.co.uk.

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