A message from the Executive Chair - 25 March 2020
Published: 25 March 2020
We are experiencing a public health crisis which is unprecedented in our lifetimes and we will all need to adapt in order to weather the storm.
MedCo has been closely monitoring the advice of the Government and Public Health England and will continue to do so. We have also considered the views of our stakeholders and will continue to liaise closely with the Ministry of Justice.
Government public health advice and/or restrictions must be adhered to and all Users should consider that first and foremost when considering how the measures MedCo announce should be applied.
Until further notice the MedCo board will be meeting on a weekly basis via telephone and/or video link and will issue any relevant updates as and when necessary. A “COVID-19” committee has also been formed to consider any urgent issues which may arise between board meetings. The committee of 5 consists of myself, the head of MedCo operations and one volunteer director from each member group.
We have already announced a number of temporary measures in an effort to ease the financial impact on you all and, more importantly, to ensure claimants’ needs continue to be met and the services provided to them are “fit for purpose”. Our temporary suspension of the ban on remote examinations is also intended to assist in ensuring that our medical experts can be available to offer their additional services to NHS England should they choose to do so.
We will also be making a further announcement shortly about annual registration fees which start to become due on 6th April 2020.
We are confident that we can continue to provide our services during the current crisis and without interruption. We are, however, anticipating that some of our support services and third party suppliers may be severely impacted due to resourcing issues. This is why we are asking Users to restrict calls and emails to the enquiries desk unless it is essential. Many queries which we have historically received could have easily been answered if the User had read the relevant User agreement, their own regulators’ or representative bodies’ requirements/advice or the relevant Civil Procedure Rules and checked the MedCo website.
We do not currently anticipate any reduction in resourcing that will impact on our day to day monitoring of management information data.
Please bear with us in these difficult times and rest assured that your views, comments and opinions will not be ignored. The MedCo website will be regularly updated as necessary to answer any queries that have a common trend.
I cannot over emphasise the importance of strictly complying with Government and Public Health advice in these trying times.