In light of the recent announcement made by the Government yesterday regarding their advice for Coronavirus (COVID-19), I wanted to take the opportunity to update you on our proposed measures with regards to our assessments and communication with you.
Given that the Courts and Local Authorities remain open, it is business as usual for our teams at Carter Brown. Evidently the assessments our experts complete on your behalf is very important for the families and individuals involved and so we want to support both them and you in continuing with this, in the safest way possible. Our office base will remain open, with adjusted working conditions for our staff which includes increased working from home and skeleton staffing within the office, supported by all necessary hygiene precautions and checks. Therefore, we are fully operational and this will enable us to continue to take calls and emails from you, so please continue to make contact and enquiries with our teams as needed.
We are still accepting and dealing with Referrals as normal; should you have a case where you require CVs, costs and timescales for a psychologist, psychiatrist, paediatrician or independent social worker, please contact our Referrals team on email@example.com. We are also, if preferred or requested, able to undertake some assessments over such communication tools as skype, please make us aware of at the point of referral if this is a preferred option.
Our assessments will continue to take place in line with Government guidance. To support our experts in conducting these in the safest way possible, we have already taken steps by holding communication with them to consider alternative arrangements for assessment visits, including video calling facilities, to enable these to take place under the current and any future restrictions. Our advice to them is as follows:
- Firstly, we have encouraged all staff and experts working with us to follow the Government guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response.
- Where necessary and appropriate our teams and experts will hold discussions with you regarding undertaking certain assessments via video calling facilities such as Skype, Zoom and FaceTime. Of course this will be wholly dependent on the needs of the individual to be assessed and the circumstances of the case, which will be considered as a priority.
- For any ongoing assessments we have encouraged experts to either book or bring their appointment dates forward to take place within the next week or so, only where this is safe and possible.
- Experts to contact clients and yourselves directly to check whether there are any health concerns or considerations.
- When completing their assessment visit in person, to take all necessary and possible hygiene checks (increased hand washing / avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth / increased fluid intake).
- Avoid undertaking assessments in highly populated areas and using public transport at ‘rush hour/peak’ times.
- Consider the need of scanning and emailing documents/questionnaires to clients as a necessary or precautionary measure.
- To notify us immediately where they are required to self-isolate, should this possibly impact on their assessment so we can communicate this to you at the earliest opportunity. Please be assured, that all steps will be taken under these circumstances to ensure the safe progression of the assessment itself.
We are reviewing the situation alongside our contingency plan daily to ensure this meets the needs of our clients and experts. We will endeavour to keep in close communication with you regarding any changes to the above.