IOCP Chief Executive’s Newsletter – 20th March 2020

Institute of Chiropodists and Podiatrists, College of Podiatric Surgeons, College of Foot Health.

Dear Colleagues. the Institute Staff and Directors are continuing to work ceaselessly to ensure that we remain in a position to advise, support and inform members with reliable science-based factual guidance and information as well as discharge our duty of care to staff. We are taking, and will continue to take, actions both reactive and proactive in order to ensure we meet those goals and responsibilities to the very best of our abilities.

Head Office

In order to maintain viability as an organisation, from close of business today (Friday 20th March) Jill and Julie will be working from home. We have taken steps to ensure they have the resources to do this, including remote computer operation, so that by this social distancing from each other our management team may stagger any  potential infection they (hopefully do not) get and remain in a position to direct remaining staff as well as perform vital administrative functions regarding finances, legal responsibilities as a business and similar.

From early next week it is envisaged that the remaining staff (two of whom, Stephanie and Samuel, should complete their 7 day self-isolation) will attend head office during their normal working hours. From Tuesday they should be directed on site by Sandra (who will be remotely tasked by Jill and Julie) as Sandra now has a number of months experience of our methods of working. I ask for everybody’s forbearance during this time should you get answer phone responses and slow email responses, I can assure you that you WILL get responses in due time.

Official partners and members guidance

We are remaining in regular contact with the HCPC at its most senior levels as well as our insurers and legal advisors, and will shortly be issuing a number of ‘position statements’ laying out our professional opinion as an organisation on matters that colleagues may wish suggested guidance on. It is envisaged at the moment that this may include our best opinions on remote consultations, medicines use, personal protection equipment and similar. Please do bear in mind that these will be opinions based on the beliefs of senior members of our profession and our interpretations, where appropriate, of advice from official bodies and partners such as insurers, our solicitors and accountants.

The Institute website

Do please bear in mind that this has links to a plethora of official advice from the best scientific sources we are able to find. We are refraining from providing links to blogs, vlogs and similar because it is impossible to audit the quality of some of the statements and links that they themselves provide. Some of the ‘unofficial’ sources are set up by well-meaning but frequently non-professional or non-scientifically qualified individuals or groups, others apparently, unfortunately, by single-issue individuals who are simply using the current crisis for self-promotion or self-gain. In short, we will provide links to sources that we trust and whilst we may not be able to give every possible link we will I can assure you do our very best for you.

In conclusion, may I wish each and every one of you, and your families, the very best health and express my firm and unshakeable opinion that we as an organisation, with your generous and unstinting support will weather this current storm and emerge in an even stronger position to continue to serve you, the profession we love and the patients we serve. I remain yours faithfully and send my Kindest Regards.

Martin Harvey FPodM PGC BSc. Chair of Executive, Podiatrist Independent Prescriber.