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Life on the road: Covid Courier lifts the lid on making deliveries in lockdown Glasgow

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Day 1 of veteran driver’s powerful insight into how Scottish courier service is on the front line of the battle against Coronavirus

Mitsubisih Hybrid Electric Vehicle operated by Eagle Couriers in Scotland

The hybrid electric Mitsubishi vehicle driven in Glasgow by Eagle Couriers. The vehicle is normally used by veteran courier Alyson McKell

BY ALYSON McKELL

AFTER 14 years working with Eagle Couriers I can say with absolute confidence that I love my job. No two days are ever the same and the variety is brilliant.

I also get to drive what I consider the best vehicle in our fleet – a Mitsubishi electric hybrid which is a real head turner and talking point everywhere I go.

But things have changed dramatically under the Coronavirus lockdown. This new world is unsettling in some ways, but still hugely rewarding. My work with the NHS has increased dramatically and there are many other ways I feel I am making a real, positive impact.

With so much change afoot, I decided to start keeping a diary. It may just surprise you to find out the kind of work a professional courier is involved in:

To start my day I have an early morning collection of legal documents. Lawyers in Scotland have their own dedicated mail system, called DX Mail, to ensure important paperwork is guaranteed to be delivered between different law firms.

Even though many law firms are closed, there are those that still want or need their paperwork delivered to their offices. Others even want documents delivered to lawyers who are working from home. I pick up the relevant paperwork from DX Mail in George Square and make the city centre drop offs.

Medical supplies delivered by Eagle Couriers

Some of the medical supplies delivered by Eagle Couriers veteran Alyson McKell

At Eagle Couriers we are lucky enough to have a major contract with the NHS in Greater Glasgow and Clyde. That means many of my daily jobs consist of visiting health centres and clinics all across the area, collecting all sorts of different types of samples then delivering them to hospitals for testing.

With those completed, it’s then on to pick up other medical item from the main NHS hospital stores depot in Glasgow. Items from there are sent all over the country. I was delighted to learn that among the stuff I was delivering was protective gear for the nurses at the Marie Curie Hospice at Stobhill Hospital in Springburn.

Following that I have another important, NHS-related job – collecting samples and other important materials from Sandyford, the specialist sexual health service for Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Those are taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, where I collect other material to be taken back to Sandyford.

Next up I have a trip to a branch of Boots to collect vital palliative care medication which is to be delivered a number of care homes and nursing homes. These are the drugs which make sure people are as peaceful as possible at the end of their lives.

A number of other stop offs are also NHS related – quick exchanges in ambulance bays to collect medications for delivery to various locations where they are needed. Then a visit to the NHS hospital stores in East Kilbride to collect medicines and other equipment as part of a chain of step for onward delivery all over the country as quickly and efficiently as possible.

However, the day still isn’t over While we all know the tests the NHS faces from Coronavirus, the rest of its brilliant work is still carrying on behind the scenes.

For me that involves collecting samples from Lightburn Hospital and taking them to the Glasgow Royal infirmary labs for testing. Then there are more Sandyford samples to be collected and ferried to the labs.

Another vital, long-standing contract for Eagle Couriers is the work with the phlebotomy service, collecting blood samples from all over Greater Glasgow and Clyde and delvering them safely to the labs where they are tested.

And so it all starts again tomorrow…

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