Islington PCT appointed The Logistics Business to develop the logistics planning tools and processes for the distribution of anti-viral drugs and personal protective equipment (PPE) to the anti-viral collection points, social care providers and even local prisons.
Through meetings with the PCT staff and a review of the existing emergency plans, consultants from The Logistics Business documented the process flows and quickly identified the critical requirements. This enabled them to highlight potential logistics problems and recommend solutions for dealing with a potential rapid increase in demand. In addition, stock -control processes were set up to enable the PCT to maintain accurate stock records and identify ideal re-order quantities. According to Martin Machray, Head of Communications and Engagement at Islington:
‘The work of The Logistics Business was first class; they quickly understood what was required and helped our team put plans in place that we simply did not have the experience to do ourselves in such a short time scale. I would certainly recommend The Logistics Business to other NHS organisations dealing with flu-pandemic logistics problems’.
In relation to the importance of anti-viral drugs, recent news reports highlight the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in areas of West Africa. Latest figures published by the World Health Organisation suggest that as many as 2100 people may have died as a result of contracting the virus, the majority being in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone.
A British nurse was among a few foreign workers to be flown home under strict medical supervision to receive lifesaving care.
With trials well underway to find a suitable vaccine and seemingly no halt to the spread of the disease, it could be the case that a suitable method of distributing a vaccine on a huge scale will be called for. It might be some way off yet, as indications are that more testing needs to be carried out to ensure that once vaccinated, a person will be fully protected. Indications so far are that the vaccine developed effects immunity for around ten months.