Healthcare Distribution: A Matter Of Life And Death

By on December 8, 2012

Without their reliability and efficiency, healthcare distribution in this country would be hit-and-miss at best. So much hard work goes into making sure that vital medicines reach hospitals, clinics and health centeres intact and on time, that people often do not realise how much we rely on logistics firms.

As this function takes place in the background and never hits the news until something goes badly wrong, it is often overlooked as the vital service that it really is. It is not only hospitals and health centres that would be affected by mis-handled logistics, but the end-user – the diabetic, the angina sufferer, and the baby who needs vital vaccinations – would suffer greatly if these supplies were not available to them.

Reliable healthcare distribution throughout the country
There are many professional logistics firms who store, transport, and deliver health products around the UK. The transportation and safe storage of medical supplies demands unique circumstances, which include:

  • Temperature-controlled vehicles for transportation
  • Storage facilities that keep medicines at the correct temperature, whether that is ambient, chilled, or frozen
  • Secure warehousing
  • The careful monitoring of stock levels, and accurate recording of stock movements in and out of the storage facility

It is clear that this type of logistics has to be handled by a reliable and professional firm that understands the importance of the product, and the consequences if something goes wrong.

Location, location
The location of facilities for storing medical supplies needs to be near major road and rail networks, ports and airports. This provides a variety of transport alternatives should one or more be unavailable. For example, if flooding has caused chaos on the roads, it may be possible to fly vital medical supplies to their destination instead.

It is this flexibility and contingency planning that a good logistics firm provides, that keeps the UK healthcare supply chain flowing.

A cost-effective solution for the health service
By outsourcing their logistics needs to an established company, the NHS can save money on fuel, manpower, and storage costs, and this has become a cost-effective way of operating. Everybody wins – the NHS saves money, hospitals have a reliable supply of life-saving medical supplies, and patients across the country have access to the treatment they need.

Reliable healthcare distribution really is a matter of life and death, and needs to be put in the hands of professional firms that can rise to the challenge and offer flexibility, alongside a cost-effective solution.

This article was written by David Hamer, who is an expert on the topic of logistics within the health service.

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