13 March 2020

Coronavirus: Newcross are ready and able to help healthcare providers

We are writing to offer you reassurance during this difficult time as the risk of a widespread outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) increases. Newcross Healthcare is best placed to ensure that client needs are met, thanks to our continuous investment in technology, the digitalisation of our processes and clinical training for our staff.

Here are the measures we are taking to ensure continuity of our service and outstanding patient care, whilst protecting the safety of our staff and clients:

  • We have issued all our branches and employees with guidelines on how to recognise symptoms, and how to maintain robust infection control practices. Should any staff experience symptoms, they have been told to remain isolated at home. We continue to monitor for any updates and relay regular messages to our workforce accordingly.

  • We will provide all staff with COVID-19-specific training materials, including guidance on what the virus is, how it spreads and what specific control measures should be in place to mitigate the risks of its spread. Scenario-based advice, specific to the environments in which we work, such as care homes, prisons and schools, will also be available to prepare frontline staff in the best possible way. An optional module will be available to healthcare staff, providing more specialist training in oxygen therapy, basic observations, taking nasal and throat swabs and donning and doffing personal protective equipment.

  • We have been working behind the scenes for the past two years to streamline and automate our staff booking system to further improve the client experience. Due to the coronavirus, we have sped up the latest deployment and we expect 80% of all bookings to be automated within two weeks. This will ensure that we can support healthcare providers immediately when they need us, should an outbreak occur.

  • Our phones operate on a VoIP system. This allows our call centre staff (recruitment, customer service and nurse advisors) to work from home and answer calls remotely, ensuring a seamless, uninterrupted service. This is something we piloted to great success upon the initial news of the first cases of coronavirus in the UK.

  • Thanks to our digitalisation of the employee learning experience, we will be issuing tailored virus prevention modules to all staff, to ensure they are all aware of the best practices. We will also deliver specialist respiratory management modules for healthcare staff deployed in environments supporting coronavirus sufferers. They can access these materials immediately, from the comfort of their homes.

  • We recently launched myHealthPlan, a free employee healthcare plan, to give all staff access to virtual appointments, advice and repeat prescriptions from NHS-registered GPs. This ensures they can get the support they need, quickly, to assist in periods of self-isolation or in adherence of social distancing measures.

  • As part of our agile recruitment strategy, we’ve already been conducting the majority of interviews via video conference over the past year. Last week only 22 interviews were held face-to-face from a total number of 658. All face-to-face meetings will now be conducted by video conference, unless business-critical.

  • Branches will now only permit visitors by prior appointment, and will adhere to strict virus and infection control protocols.

  • We will also increase our usage of web chat facilities to further reduce the need for face-to-face meetings.

We are reviewing our plans, in line with official government advice, every 48 hours.

We understand that this may be a challenging time for the British people. However, united and working together, we can protect our loved ones, our businesses and our economy.

Coronavirus further info

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation at this time.

Yours faithfully,

Stephen Pattrick and Michelle Gorringe signature