‘An excellent reputation...’
Further to the national lockdown announced by the government on 04/01/21, Somek and Associates are operating as follows:
- The majority of our staff continue to work from home using a secure connection.
- Our office is open every day to process any essential post and operate the switchboard but is minimally staffed.
- We continue to operate a virtual first approach to our Quantum assessments, only undertaking a Face to Face assessment where absolutely necessary and subject to a stringent risk assessment and the informed consent of all parties being obtained.
- We have reviewed again every single Face to Face assessment that was scheduled to occur in January and February for the purposes of a) updating the risk assessment; and b) considering whether some or all of the assessment can be undertaken virtually (thereby reducing the time that the expert is required to remain in the property, which is much safer for both expert and claimant); and c) re-obtaining the consent of the expert and the claimant.
- In circumstances where a particularly high level of risk is identified (e.g. the claimant is shielding or the journey for our expert would involve public transportation) and a virtual assessment (in full or in part) is not possible, we are liaising with our clients as to whether a desk top report may be of assistance or whether the assessment needs to be postponed until such times as the government scales back the current restrictions.
- When undertaking assessments, our experts wear personal protective equipment (PPE) suitable for the claimant’s circumstances and observe social distancing measures e.g. hand washing and distancing themselves from the claimant (and other members of the household) as much as possible.
- Many of our experts are undergoing lateral testing and some have now been vaccinated – we will inform our clients where this is occurring, as part of the risk assessment process.
- All claimants are provided with an information leaflet detailing the steps we have taken to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission and are contacted 10 days prior to a Face to Face assessment by letter asking them to inform us of any change in their health or circumstances (e.g. the development of a) a new, continuous cough; b) a high temperature (37.8 °C or over); and/or c) a loss of, or change to, their sense of smell or taste. Our experts also inform us of the same.
- Our experts also contact the claimants before their departure on the day of the assessment, to ensure there has been no change in claimant/ expert circumstances over-night. For this reason, it is essential that our expert is provided with the claimant’s telephone number. Somek & Associates continue to operate an emergency out of hours contact number should a claimant need to cancel an assessment scheduled for the weekend: 07538 330035.
- Our staff and experts continue to be supported by our senior management teams to ensure the smooth operation of our service.
- Our aim is to maximise the safety of our experts and the claimants, whilst also assisting our clients to progress their cases in the most timely way possible, therefore if you think there is anything further we can do to assist you please do not hesitate to let us know.
If you would like to discuss anything further, please do contact Jessica Thurston, Chief Operating Officer on: 01494792711.