Tailored solutions - COVID-19

 

Working with our clients to maintain the general health and wellbeing of their people, and getting them back to work during COVID-19

While we are all learning to operate differently, RPS are working to make it easy for our clients and their teams to connect with us – and this means finding new ways to deliver our services.

To get people back to work faster after illness, and to ensure our clients continue to meet their statutory obligations with regards to protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of their people, previously site-based health assessments can now be completed remotely.

RPS’ Occupational Health team can deliver a COVID-19 referral scheme for employees returning to work. The consultation can be completed over the phone to assess personnel quickly, and relevant guidance can be provided to managers, helping to ensure your business continuity.

It is particularly important that employees and line managers are properly supported on return to work from anything to do with COVID-19 - this service provides employers and employees with that vital link.

Line managers may want guidance regarding COVID-19 for those who have been self-isolating, or who have had suspected or confirmed COVID-19. For example:

  • Suitability of an employee to return to work
  • Suitability of an employee to remain at work and any required adjustments
  • Specific advice relating to vulnerable people within their workforce

Delivering our services safely in a COVID-19 world

RPS will be taking a risk-based approach to how we deliver our comprehensive services to clients in a world where Covid-19 is likely to remain present and transmission, with the potential for life threatening illness, will be with us for the foreseeable future.

Taking onboard the guidance provided by UK Government, Public Health England (PHE), the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Faculty of Occupational Medicine (FOM) and the Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM) as well as local public health and safety requirements, we will be conducting socially distanced assessments in COVID-secure environments, either in our offices or on client sites. This will ensure we can continue to provide support to our clients and enabling you to meet any statutory obligations and support a safe work environment for all.

What does a socially distanced and COVID-secure environment service mean for our clients?

It will effectively mean a staged approach to how we perform all Occupational Health assessments.

Stage 1 - clinical paperwork is completed beforehand and reviewed by the clinician, with the employee on the telephone line or video link where necessary (see table). Following this, the clinician will decide whether the employee can be issued with an extension to their current certificate or whether a face to face assessment will be necessary on clinical grounds e.g. need to assess mobility after a serious fracture, or on operational grounds such as an operator insisting on a new certificate for the client’s off-shore deployment.

Stage 2 - where a face to face assessment is required, any testing / examination will be undertaken following social distancing and COVID-19 secure measures. No non-essential tests will be performed (e.g. spirometry).

Stage 3 – clinical sign off. A certificate will be produced in line with HSE and industry specific expectations, extensions or exemptions.

Do we still meet statutory, regulatory and professional guidelines and requirements?

Yes. All RPS clinical procedures are in line with UK Government, PHE, HSE and industry specific guidance regarding certification expectations, extensions or exemptions. RPS will support you with continuing to comply with any local health and safety requirements or regulations specific to your industry.

How will an RPS clinician make a clinical decision without seeing a client face to face?

Remote or staged assessments are the new norm with most regulatory and professional bodies encouraging them in light of the current COVID-19 pandemic. This includes removing the requirement to complete any non-essential physical tests such as spirometry. 

The most important part of the assessment is obtaining an accurate respiratory symptom history within a respiratory questionnaire or during discussion. Should there be any potential or perceived work-related symptoms, a face to face appointment and further tests will be considered. To support this approach, clinicians will also review previous occupational health records where available.

Requests for employees to be seen face to face

If clients feel they need face to face assessments from the outset, we will discuss their operational requirements with them. We will take into consideration the specific nature of client’s work and the way their business is organised, operated, managed and regulated.

Visiting an RPS clinic

A restriction on visitors, including clients, will be in place and every effort made to use available technology and other means of assessment. However, where business critical, clients can attend an RPS clinic by exception and with prior arrangements. A controlled access process will be in place and must be adhered to. 

RPS clinicians visiting client sites

RPS will take into consideration the specific nature of client’s work and the way their business is organised, operated, managed and regulated. With this information, we will liaise with our clients to ensure that safe systems of work are in place where it is deemed necessary, by exception, for RPS employees to resume, or commence, onsite client work.

Can RPS assess employees returning to work after a period of absence relating to COVID-19?

RPS offer a robust COVID-19 referral scheme to assess COVID-19 work and health concerns. This could include RPS assessing:

  • Suitability of an employee to return to work
  • Suitability of an employee to remain at work and any required adjustments
  • Specific advice relating to vulnerable people within your workforce

RPS clinicians will provide relevant guidance to the employer and employee that offers the peace of mind they need before re-entering the workplace. Should you require any further COVID-19 referral scheme information, please email rpsoh@rpsgroup.com

Contact us

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Caroline Pearson

Divisional Customer Services Director +44 20 7280 3240 EMAIL
London - Farringdon Street | UK
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Michael Latter

Senior Business Development Manager - Occupational Health +44 20 7280 3230 EMAIL
London - Farringdon Street | UK
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Adam Lycett

Business Development Manager +44 1623 657446 EMAIL
Nottingham | UK

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