Anyone working in the family justice system will know only too well that it is a profession under pressure.
Last month, Sir Andrew McFarlane highlighted this very issue in his speech to the Family Law Bar Association, raising concerns about the wellbeing of family law professionals across the board. We see and hear countless examples in our day-to-day dealings with family lawyers and social workers; and this week sees the International Stress Management Association focus on putting wellbeing into the heart of business.
Whilst we can’t solve the problem of volume of work, there are ways in which we can help lighten the load. We encourage all our clients to lean on us as much as possible so that we can take a small part of the strain and help make your life easier.
As National Stress Awareness Day approaches, and we are encouraged to think about what we can all do to manage stress, we felt it was timely to share a few of the ways in which we can help alleviate some of the pressures associated with commissioning drug and alcohol testing.
We understand how difficult it is handling client cases at different stages, so we have put the following measures in place to take the pressure off you. Once you’ve instructed us, the process kicks in and you can rest assured that all is in hand. That’s one thing off your plate.
Your quote, however it suits you
Request a quote online or by phone, and we’ll provide it within two hours. That means you can book in your test on the same day. Job done. Each of our team is trained to answer your query on the day you call us, so you’ll never wait to speak to an account manager.
You will always know what is going on
We can organise the test directly with your client if it helps you, and we will keep you informed of the time and date. Once the sample arrives back at our lab – usually the next business day after the sample was collected – we will send a message to let you know that it’s being processed and when you will get the results. We always deliver results three days; you will never be kept waiting or need to chase.
Expert collectors, available where your clients are
The logistics of collecting samples can add pressure, particularly when time is of the essence. We have a team of over 50 expert collectors, all highly trained and working across the UK, who can be available within hours to take collections wherever necessary.
Over the last 18 months that team has also adapted to operate efficiently and effectively within Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines. Preserving the chain of custody is just one part of their role. The other - making sure donors feel comfortable and reassured - is another area in which the team excels. The idea of having a drug test can be worrying. Our team are trained to make sample collection simple, painless and dignified for your clients. We only take a small sample of hair for a hair test, and just a few drops of blood for a PEth test.
All of which combines to make sure that we get the quality of sample we need, and you get accurate results exactly when you need them.
Guaranteed turnaround to help you meet court deadlines
We know that getting test results back when you expect them is critical to maximising progress on a case and minimising the stress around being court ready. We are proud to be recognised as the UK’s fastest laboratory drug and alcohol testing service, and we guarantee to have test results back to you within three days of receipt at our lab. Feedback from our clients tells us that this enables them to keep all the relevant people involved in the case informed – parents, other solicitors, experts, judges - and make sure that everyone sees and understands the results in good time.
Our result reports are designed to be clear and easy-to-understand, so that you, your clients, and the courts know exactly where they stand. If any clarification is needed, our team of reporting scientists are always available to provide any further explanation. They can also provide expert witness when needed.
Wider support and resources
We aim to ease workload pressures where we can, but we know that drug and alcohol testing represents a very small proportion of a family lawyer or social worker’s caseload.
For anyone feeling that their workload is having an adverse impact on their mental wellbeing, the International Stress Management Association have published free resources around identifying and dealing with stress, available to download from their website. The Law Society also offers a number of resources on the subject of mental wellbeing in the legal profession; the NHS Every Mind Matters campaign has published tips for improving mental wellbeing; and national charity Mind offers online resources and advice alongside a range of support that can be accessed locally.
Our final thought this Stress Awareness Week is to be kind, and let’s keep looking out for each other.