The multiple “put in place a risk assessment process” for “every one” of its employees in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, “no matter where they worked in the business”, it said on Wednesday (September 10).
Earlier this year (June 24), NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) set a four-week deadline for COVID-19 risk assessments to be completed for “at-risk groups”, including black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) staff.
However, Well decided it would take action “for every colleague, including those on furlough”, its people director Jaqueline Lunardi said.
“We also set up an ongoing process so anyone returning to work after a period of time off – for example, from maternity or long-term sick – and those whose health situation changes, completes an assessment too,” she added.
At-risk groups identified
The chain also worked with Dr Mahendra Patel – an academic pharmacist and member of C+D’s clinical advisory board – to “help identify any particular risk areas for BAME colleagues”.
Dr Patel said it is “reassuring to see that Well is being extra vigilant at wanting to help address the issues around BAME communities being disproportionately affected by COVID-19, and it’s great to see meaningful action being taken”.
“Equally, it’s a real positive step that Well has taken to apply this risk assessment across all their employees to make sure they don’t exclude anyone at risk,” he added.
As a result of the risk assessments, Well took action such as arranging for 153 colleagues at “particular” risk to have a “full, externally provided, occupational health assessments”. Other team members were reminded of extra safety protocols in place, or had adjustments made to their roles to minimise the risk of contracting the virus.