Managing Demand for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Our front-line staff are the core of our organisation and it is our duty to ensure they can work safely. Making sure we provide staff and patients with adequate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in line with the national guidance has been key to achieving this.
Throughout the COVID-19 outbreak, there have been widely reported concerns regarding the adequate supply of compliant PPE. From the outset, ERS Medical prioritised the procurement and management of PPE and have successfully maintained the correct levels at all sites across the UK. To overcome potential issues with quality, all orders are checked for suitability and compliance by an ERS Medical Quality Manager before entering the system.
This has been achieved by the swift implementation of our robust Business Continuity Plan and through our national escalation plan, ensuring the continual flow of information between all of our sites. To ensure supplies are maintained, ERS Medical has implemented a dedicated stock management strategy, creating a central hub for fulfilment and distribution to our 25 operational sites across the UK.
As part of this strategy, weekly meetings with Operational Teams are conducted along with regular stock takes. This delivers accurate planning and forecasting to ensure adequate supplies, and any unforeseen events are addressed immediately.
Mark Merriman Head of Operations commented, “The requirements for PPE have risen exponentially and we have been working with colleagues from our internal Care Standards Team, the NHS and key suppliers to ensure we have adequate stock. The consequence of not planning, not ordering kit and not maintaining sufficient stock is just not an option.”
Throughout the pandemic our Care Standards Team have been continually liaising with Public Health England and NHS England and Improvement to ensure we have, and are compliant with, the latest guidelines for vehicle modifications, decontamination, and PPE.
This understanding of the guidelines enabled us to modify our fleet of 500 vehicles and implement social distancing measures quickly and effectively. The dedication of our Care Standards and Operation teams has ensured that our staff can continue to deliver our vital services and enables us to safely transport 50,000 patients every month.
As the situation progresses the ERS Medical team are continuing to work with multiple suppliers, both in the UK and overseas to ensure we secure enough PPE such as facemasks, gloves, aprons, eye protection, sanitiser and other clinical consumables to keep our people safe.