Mercedes-Benz van dealer Euro Commercials has supplied three of its demonstrators to NHS Wales Health Courier Services (HCS) on an indefinite loan to help during the coronavirus pandemic.
HCS is a division of NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership (NWSSP) Supply Chain Logistics & Transport, which provides a range of support functions and services for all of NHS Wales.
A long-established customer of Euro Commercials, it runs a fleet of 120 vans and trucks, the overwhelming majority of which are by Mercedes-Benz.
These vehicles deliver clinical logistics services such as vital pathology, medicines, blood, organs, medical records and equipment, as well as other planned and urgent medical consumables, to hospitals, clinics, GP practices and other facilities throughout Wales.
Gildas Griffiths, deputy head of supply chain, clinical logistics and transport at HCS, said: “Ours is a 24 hours a day, 365 days a year operation,”
“In normal times we deliver and collect up to 120,000 items of mail and medical records each week, as well as annually transporting in excess of eight million samples of clinical pathology and blood, or blood and pharmaceutical products, and providing emergency transport based on clinical need.
“These are not normal times, though, and the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic has led to a massive increase in demand for our services, which colleagues have been working tirelessly to meet.
“We identified a need for additional vehicles to supplement our established fleet, so were delighted when Euro Commercials agreed to lend us three of its demonstrators. It was a most welcome gesture, and one that is greatly appreciated.”
As well as providing HCS with the three demonstrators – two Sprinter panel vans and a Vito crew van – Euro Commercials has loaned a couple of Sprinter vans to the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust.
Euro Commercials is currently processing an order from the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust for a further 70 front-line units based on 5.0-tonne Sprinter chassis with automatic gearboxes.
These vehicles are being fitted with box bodies by German specialist WAS. Most will replace older models which are being stood down, although a proportion represents an extension to the fleet.