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Statement on Coronavirus - 17th March 2020

The information below provides UKIM’s position in relation to the Coronavirus outbreak and the enactment of our business continuity plans as we aim to avoid, mitigate or manage disruption as a result of the virus. The situation continues to evolve and we continue to closely and regularly monitor all government and relevant advice. 

Advice to Colleagues

We continuously provide comprehensive advice to colleagues in relation to hygiene in the workplace. While national supplies of hand gels and sanitizers are under threat, we have increased the frequency of office cleaning and use of high alcohol cleaning solutions. Similarly, additional hand cleaning equipment has been secured and colleagues are actively encouraged to use these frequently. 

We have relayed government advice in relation to isolation of vulnerable colleagues and have arranged for homeworking for those individuals. Similarly, this applies to any colleague in a household where symptoms are present. 

Given the fluidity of the situation, we are reviewing our internal communications as advice evolves, based on the daily government updates. 

Business Continuity

We have enacted a comprehensive business continuity plan to coordinate our response across UKIM and to ensure that we maintain our service standards and commitments. This is overseen by an established emergency management team to regularly assess any evolving situation and revise continuity efforts if needed.

Much of our operational capability is portable so that colleagues can work remotely, from home, should colleague isolation be necessary. For those processes or functions that cannot be managed remotely, we have a disaster recovery plan that aims to begin recovery of those within 24 hours and communicate any service delays or impact, immediately. 

Advice to Patients

Prior to appointments we are issuing SMS messages asking anyone with the relevant symptoms [cough, fever, shortness of breath] to identify themselves immediately. Our current strategy is to rearrange appointments for an advance date [>4 weeks] to guarantee that symptoms have subsided completely prior to examination.

Similarly, any vulnerable patients [over 70 or with a chronic medical condition] identify themselves in order that we rearrange their appointment following the expiry of government advice on social isolation.

Advice to Medical Examiners

We have asked that MEs immediately report any potential threat to the safety of them and their patients. We stand ready to cancel and rearrange appointments as soon as we are made aware of any potential issue. As of 17th March 2020 we have received a small number of such requests and understandably anticipate that this will increase in the coming weeks.

Advice to Customers

It is expected that a large volume of booked appointments will be cancelled and/or rearranged due to a range of factors including:

i)                    Patient identifying as a vulnerable person, with resultant social isolation.

ii)                   Patient identifying as being resident in a household where symptoms are present.

iii)                  Medical Expert identifying any threat to themselves or their patients as a result of the virus.

As such, we intend to implement data capture and analysis routines in order that we can identify the impact of such actions. As the most up to date government advice is so recent, we are unable to currently quantify any material divergence from service levels but expect to update customers as this data firms up.