During these unprecedented times, healthcare workers across the country find themselves facing extreme challenges – fighting a battle against a previously unknown lethal virus whilst experiencing an alarming lack of PPE. 

Described by Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, as ‘the worst public health crisis for a generation,’ as of April 23rd, 2020, the coronavirus outbreak has infected more than 130,000 people within the UK and resulted in more than 18,000 fatalities. As the death toll relentlessly rises, so too has frustration and dissatisfaction over the shortage of PPE after promised consignments of surgical gowns and masks for frontline staff continually fail to arrive. 

NHS Providers, the representative body for hospital Trusts, has spoken out about the conditions its staff are currently experiencing, warning that the shortage of equipment is likely to have disastrous effects, particularly within intensive care units where specialist staff are becoming increasingly reluctant to continue to work without the required PPE. Anxiety is running high as concerns mount about the safety and protection of front line workers and many face the agonising dilemma of having to consider prioritising their own safety versus that of their patients. 

This situation is, unfortunately, one which is replicated across the whole of the UK. Many Trusts find themselves at risk of running out of crucial supplies, and the recent nationwide creation of hospitals and care facilities with exclusive focus on combatting coronavirus, has significantly added to the volume of urgently required consignments. Supply chains are naturally compromised and unreliable in times of global pandemic. The Department of Health and Social Care acknowledges this, stating that ‘an adequate supply of protective equipment is an international issue.’ Manufacturing industries are having to cope with unforeseen demand whilst simultaneously experiencing difficulties with sourcing components and staff shortages. 

Innovative distribution systems

Responding to unprecedented demand will always present a whole host of new logistical challenges. However, UK businesses, charitable organisations, haulage companies and same day couriers are collaborating their efforts to ensure the nation’s hospitals, clinics, surgeries and pharmacies receive timely deliveries of essential supplies. Local Resilience Forums and the National Supply Distribution Response (NSDR) are now receiving additional supplies with a view to distributing these to organisations experiencing problems with their usual routes of supply.

Indeed, NHS England reports that PPE supplies are now being housed in centralised warehouses with daily deliveries taking place to the 217 NHS Trusts across the UK. However, the efficiency of new distribution systems ultimately hinges on the reliability, commitment and flexibility of transportation hubs. 

Same day courier services and a shift in focus

The same day courier service industry echoes this collaboration with many now stepping up to bridge supply chain gaps. As hospitals and medical centres see a surge in demand for both PPE and vital lifesaving medical supplies, it is imperative that shortages are resolved as quickly as possible.

Same day couriers are increasingly fulfilling these emergency needs, working round the clock to guarantee urgent deliveries of safety masks, aprons and gloves to ambulance trusts, care homes and hospitals across the UK. With existing well-established manufacturing companies now deploying their expertise into producing new ranges of medical devices, courier firms are also assisting with the delivery of specialist components to engineering plants, as well as transporting heavy machinery and equipment to hospitals. 

Vaccine and treatment trials are hugely important factors for the prevention, diagnosis and eventual treatment of coronavirus. Here, same day couriers can be relied upon to urgently deliver these clinical samples to laboratories and assist in the timely transportation of results and findings. Hand in hand with this, pharmaceutical deliveries to the vulnerable and those requiring repeat medication, especially within care home environments, is an important transportation need. Same day courier services are now playing a vital role facilitating these requirements to ensure those most at risk from coronavirus are shielded and that residents of care homes, sheltered housing and similar establishments can depend on the ongoing delivery of lifesaving medication in these difficult times.

Adaptation measures

With this shift in focus, prioritising the health and wellbeing of same day courier staff, customers and the general public must also be addressed. All same day delivery services have a responsibility to not only comply with governmental guidelines and regulations, but also adopt industry specific policies with regard to safety.

As physical contact must be minimised and distancing maintained, delivery companies adapt to suit the needs of individual customers with designated drop offs, photography and approvals to confirm receipt and increased use of tracking devices. 

Same Day Couriers Direct would like to reassure our clients that we are actively following all government guidelines. While Public Health England have advised that those receiving consignments are not at any increased risk of contracting coronavirus from items, we have taken additional measures to protect our customers and staff. 

We believe communication is key. Same Day Couriers Direct prides itself on a flexible approach and an ability to always go the extra mile. In uncertain times such as these, we remain dedicated and committed to being the ‘go to’ custom courier of choice and our tailor made service will continue to reflect and respond to the ongoing needs of our multi sector clients whilst being fully aligned with relevant governmental directives.

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