PPE ‘lifeline’ provided to North East London community by team from Barts Health

PPE is being delivered by a network made up partly of a team from Barts Health NHS trust to community organisations across North East London.

The North East London (NEL) PPE escalation supply service was established just one month ago on 30th March.

More than a quarter of a million items have so far been delivered to over 220 community organisations.

These include GP surgeries, care homes, hospices, pharmacies, dental practices and domiciliary care.

The NEL PPE supply service is a joint initiative between Barts Health, members of the North East London Commissioning Support Unit (CSU) and several Care Commissioning Groups (CCGs).

The PPE being delivered includes gloves, visors, aprons, face masks and hand sanitisers.

The service operates 7 days per week with 32 members of staff.

The supplies being delivered are separate from those received by acute NHS trusts such as Barts Health.

All items are delivered on the same day or following morning.

The stocks of PPE are received by Barts Health at the NEL hub based at Whipps Cross Hospital.

From there, the stock is distributed into the community.

There has been a 400% increase in demand for PPE since the start of the Covid-19 outbreak.

Natalie O’Donoghue, after volunteering to be redeployed during the pandemic switched from her regular role as investment lead at Barts Health to become operational manager for the service.

Barts Health colleagues Joanna Rippingale, Matt Smith and Jasdeep Dhillon provide logistics support and Faatimah Pandor assists with operations at their Whipps Cross hub.

Natalie said:

“From the members of the escalation team to those in the stores department at Whipps Cross; from the Whipps Cross supply chain team led by Keith Scarfe to the delivery drivers provided by Bates Office Supplies who are working free of charge, everyone has been incredibly positive and flexible.

“Working so closely with people from different departments and organisations during these challenging times has been great, and it’s extremely rewarding to see the results of our hard work.

“The creation of this service puts us in a good place for the future, forging relationships now and showing what we can achieve when we all come together.

“It’s been a real community effort.”

Barts Health NHS Trust director of procurement Lucie Jaggar said:

“In just four weeks the service has established itself as a lifeline for community organisations with less than 36 hours’ worth of PPE in reserve.

“It’s a fantastic example of team-working and I’m immensely proud of Natalie, Joanna, Matthew, Jasdeep and Faatimah for their incredible efforts in both creating and running the service.

“Many of them have been redeployed from different parts of the organisation but they have all hit the ground running.”