As well as managing our own stocks of personal protective equipment (PPE), for the past four weeks Martlets has been acting as an essential ‘hub’ for PPE distribution to 16 hospices across the South East of England.
Our retail supply chain and Martlets shops have been out of action in recent weeks due to the lockdown. However, during this period we’ve been able to redeploy some of our retail staff and resources for another important purpose.
A collaboration with Hospice UK
John Richards has taken on a crucial role in recent weeks, coordinating the project.
“Hospice UK wanted to set up a regional hub system,” he explains. “Rather than send out individual packages of PPE to all the hospices, they set up hubs to supply specific areas. The South East hub has been run by us here at Martlets for the past month. Each week an 18 ton lorry has dropped off loads of pallets with all the PPE equipment. We then split it into individual loads for each of the hospices under our care.”
The equipment, from the Department of Health, has included aprons, masks, gloves, visors, waste bags, hand hygiene products and other essential equipment.
“During this past month we have distributed over one million individual items of PPE to hospices across the South East.”
Martlets’ van drivers, who would usually be transporting donated items for our shops, have been out delivering these vital supplies.
A positive and rewarding project
“It’s required a lot of coordination and attention to detail,” says John. “Particularly because each hospice has required different items in different amounts. It’s been such a positive and rewarding project to be involved in though. It’s good to know we’ve been helping to keep staff and patients safe by distributing this vital equipment.”
The massive demand for PPE at the start of the coronavirus pandemic meant there was a national shortage. At Martlets we were grateful to the local individuals and businesses that stepped in to help. They donated PPE they had in stock, or even made it themselves using 3D printers. You can read these inspirational stories here.
“Now we have the PPE we need at Martlets to keep staff and patients safe,” says John. “We’re receiving regular deliveries from the Department of Health. Plus, this week we were grateful to get a donation of essential equipment from the Lord Mayor’s Appeal. The Appeal has partnered with Chinese businesses to supply PPE to the NHS. They are now extending those donations to hospices, including Martlets.”
We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supplied Martlets with vital PPE over the past weeks. Thanks also to our van drivers and to John. Together, they have successfully distributed essential PPE to hospices across the South East, keeping staff and patients protected.
Our Martlets shops will be re-opening in June and our van drivers will soon be back to moving retail stock around. Visit the retail section of our website for more information.