Coronavirus (COVID-19) Position Statement from Illingworth Research Group

Dear colleagues and partners, 

Further to our recent statement on March 10th 2020 we wanted to take this opportunity to provide an update on our current activities and plans as a result of the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.  As previously stated there is and continues to be a lot of rapidly developing information and uncertainty relating to this situation, and Illingworth has been monitoring the global updates on a daily basis.  We continue to keep abreast of updated guidance from the World Health Organisation (WHO), local governments and other national and global health institutions. 


Since there will be an impact on our projects, we wish to share with our colleagues and partners our plans on how we aim to continue to support and manage the situation at a project level across the Illingworth organisation.  As you can appreciate these are unchartered territories for everyone involved however we remain committed to ensuring that we maintain business continuity and full functionality as long as regional guidance and advice permits.  Saying that and to reiterate previous statements made, we wish to stress that as an organisation the health, safety and welfare of our employees, patients, clients, colleagues and those involved with all aspects of our work including the general public, is of paramount importance to us. We wish to reassure you that we are continuously monitoring and reviewing all guidelines to ensure that the actions we take as an organisation are in line with these procedures and that we act in the best interests of all stakeholders. 


Illingworth’s current stance remains that we are taking a position of ‘business as usual with caveats’ and that these caveats continue to evolve on a daily basis.  Essentially Illingworth will continue with business as usual where this is consistent with government and other authority guidelines and does not place the health and well-being of our employees and their families, patients, sites staff and other contacts at undue risk.


At a company level we have formed an internal response team with cross functional representation.  This committee meets on a daily basis and reviews and assesses all external and internal enquiries, new developments and guidelines.  We agree on responses and activities that enable the business to continue to support our colleagues and partners, and we agree on proactive communication activities and plans that are then shared with our customers on a regular basis.  


At the project level we have instigated a risk review and mitigation planning process which has been driven by our individual project managers. The reviews have covered all aspects of the projects and have focused on activities to include: 

  • Risks to the study associated with the indication.
  • Risks associated with the location of the study sites.
  • Risks to the study depending on the progress of the study.
  • Risks to the study due to logistical challenges.

Given the many factors involved with each study, each one will be unique and have specific risks, and Illingworth will endeavour to identify the risks critical to the study and propose mitigation plans, with the aim of continuing to meet the critical goals of the study. The risks will continue to be reviewed centrally with the Illingworth committee to ensure a broad and consistent approach to risk management and the mitigation steps being considered.  


As you can appreciate the considerations are extensive as are the potential resulting actions. As previously stated we will require a pragmatic review of the proposals with an understanding that we do not necessarily have all the answers, that plans and mitigations will change and that ultimately there may be adverse impacts to the study that cannot be mitigated that result in patients no longer being able to comply with the protocol. However decisions will be made in partnership with our colleagues with full collaboration and consideration for all stakeholders involved.


At this stage we felt that it was also important to share with you our internal business continuity plans.  This has been put in place to ensure that we are able to continue to function efficiently and effectively and service our customers and partners on an ongoing basis.  As of Thursday 19th March 2020 the majority of our office based workforce (across all locations globally) will be working remotely, save for a core group of skeleton staff who will remain office based.  We have provided all the necessary equipment, network access and additional tools to ensure that our employees and workers are able to continue with their day to day activities with no restrictions or challenges.  Our main telephone number will function as normal and all individual contact numbers currently accessible will continue to be available.  


We recognise that this is a difficult time for everyone involved in the healthcare businesses but please be assured that we are giving this our full attention and we will take all reasonable actions to deliver our services and your studies per the original plans.