In July the service informed staff that in line with the planned time scale for the changes to the Government’s road map on the 19 July, there would be a move through the EDM RAG ratings from Amber to Green saying that: “EDMs have allowed for a flexible approach to be taken by regions to respond swiftly to changing local circumstances, both in progressing recovery and stepping back when required.”
Napo has always maintained that a movement or change in delivery must be based on informed suitable and sufficient assessment of the risk.
As well as the announcement of remaining areas moving to Green EDM’s on 6th September, at one of this week’s recovery meetings, Napo was informed of the Probation Service’s intention to move into National Standards from the 10th September.
Given the current data and models for the potential increased risk of transmission and case numbers, members have already been in contact to raise their concerns about existing delivery expectations.
The initial information received was that it will not be an immediate commencement of the full National Standards or a return to pre COVID business as usual service delivery, but rather a lighter version, which will have a similar approach as the EDMs with service delivery managed against the risks taking account of local conditions and circumstances. This will be done via blended working with a mixture of office and remote working.
We therefore expect the continuation of regular dialogue at a regional level between RPD’s, Health and Safety Leads and TU reps to consider the COVID-19 data at both a regional a more localised level. These meetings will be an essential part in continuing the work to protect members and it is expected that they will remain a positive and productive way of effective joint working.
It the event that reps feel their concerns may not be being adequately addressed, then there remains a route of assistance and escalation through both the branch’s link Officer and Official supported by the National Official for Health and Safety.
In line with the proposed change, there is an expectation that all clients on probation in the community will have a face to face appointment scheduled. However, the timing of these appointments will be based on professional judgement depending on risk, personal circumstances and need.
It is vital therefore that any member subject to an individual risk assessment ensures that this is fully reviewed before returning to the office and that is reviewed thereafter every 4 weeks.
At the time of writing this mail out we are awaiting confirmation of how caseloads will be managed for those staff unable to return to the office at this stage and what the anticipated impact and planned management of workloads to account for this.
Members are encouraged to raise any health and safety concerns with their local reps in the first instance, you can also contact: firstname.lastname@example.org for further advice if required.