When a new Covid-19 testing programme was put in place for Trusts, we supported with our print procurement expertise to manage the administration of the scheme.
A critical part of the measures to control Covid-19 were the use of new testing technologies and innovations, deployed in ways that would have the most impact in protecting people at risk, finding the virus and enabling life to get back to as normal as possible.
With that in mind, in 2020 the use of LAMP tests (Loop-mediated isothermal amplification) was approved for a new testing programme that was being put in place for Trusts. This would be a weekly asymptomatic testing requirement. The LAMP tests would allow the identification of asymptomatic medical staff, ensuring frontline staff could self-isolate and reduce the risk of onward infection.
An expression of interest for this programme was sent out to Trusts. A Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust, in conjunction with ourselves and a leading UK university, were successful in their bid for funding. This led us to provide testing kits to hospitals, enabling 23,000 staff members to be tested weekly.
Mobilising hospitals when resources are stretched
To ensure the safety of their staff and patients the Teaching Hospitals Foundation Trust undertook the decision to have regular mass Covid-19 LAMP testing across as many of their hospital sites and departments as possible. This offers all staff members with the opportunity to test weekly, effectively identifying and managing any localised outbreaks.
The trust knew this would be a complicated project and needed an integrated service provider who could manage the entire administration of the scheme. This led them to reach out to us, given our existing partnership.
In a consultative style, we worked through a number of iterations and options with the client before choosing the most efficient approach to the testing. All items which made up the testing kits were sourced or collected from specific hospital locations and, as this was during the height of the pandemic, were all carefully coordinated and managed under strict social distancing measures. On delivery to the collating areas, items were left in isolation for 72 hours to ensure they were safe to handle.
We assembled the testing kits which included test tubes, instruction leaflets, barcodes, lab bags, absorbent pads and outer packaging. These were carefully packaged into sets of five for delivery back to the various hospitals, where the staff could have free access to test packs.
As part of the solution, the university was contracted for use of their laboratory to perform the testing. In order to safely track the test tubes through the laboratory and ensure integrity of the test results, we developed and printed a special three-part barcoded label, which was included in the packs for application to the test tubes, packing and laboratory paperwork.
The testing kits were then made ready for call off by the hospitals as and when needed. Although the project was rolled out by area, there was an initial demand for 10,000 kitted packs and we arranged for a special hand fulfilment team to complete this initial order.
Aside from regular scheduled deliveries, we ensured that each hospital had enough kits for one week’s call off, so that delivery could be made the following day.
Benefits of our service
- One stop shop - as an integrated service provider, we enabled the Hospitals Trust to complete a complex project with just one supplier at a time when medical resources were stretched to the limit.
- Project management - coordination of all elements of the project from solution design, sourcing the products and organising logistics to working with the laboratory.
- Bespoke delivery – a dedicated hand fulfilment team.