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Lockdown Scottish courier delivers much needed TLC to NHS services – and to her vehicle

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DAY 10 of her lockdown journal and our Covid Courier is delivering some TLC to her trusty vehicle

Mitsubishi Hybid EV operated by Eagle Couriers in Scotland

This Mitsubishi Hybid EV operated by Eagle Couriers in Scotland. The vehicle has been constantly on the road in Glasgow since 2017

By Alyson McKell

AS THE lockdown rolls on to protect us all from Coronavirus, it’s clear is that we all have to take extra steps to look after our wellbeing in other ways – from exercising to stay healthy to keeping our minds occupied as well.

I’m lucky enough to be classed as an essential worker and I’m on the roads making pick-ups and deliveries, including many for the NHS. It’s great to be gainfully occupied and to feel like I’m doing my bit to help front line health workers.

For me, keeping everything together means looking after the Mitsubishi Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) that I drive every day. It is the only one in the Eagle Couriers fleet and I’m as proud as punch to use it and keep it immaculate.

So, one of my first jobs of today is to give the PHEV a wee bit of TLC, because the distinctive Eagle Couriers livery on the passenger side is showing a bit of wear and tear.

After completing my 7am collection of legal paperwork to be delivered to the city centre offices of various law firms, at 8am I headed to Clydebank, where a livery specialist quickly had the damage repaired.

That had the PHEV looking back to its best for my next job – just round the corner in Clydebank to pick up a parcel on behalf of the Scottish Ambulance Service. By coincidence, the next job was also on behalf of the ambulance service, involving a stop at its base at Abbotsinch Road at Glasgow Airport.

Both picks up were destined for Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. My role was to drop both packages at the Eagle Couriers depot in Glasgow, so that they could be logged and dispatched on the next part of their journey.

Control room staff at work in Eagle Couriers

Control room staff at work in Eagle Couriers, Scotland’s biggest independent courier company

At our depot I also picked up another parcel, this one to be delivered to a residential address in Oatlands – one of many similar deliveries I have made over the past few weeks as it was important equipment or materials for people who now find themselves working from home.

That took me to 11.30am, which was time for one of my staple daily jobs, picking up samples from the Sandyford clinic in the city centre and ferrying them to Glasgow Royal Infirmary to be delivered to various labs.

As an indication of how things have changed in this Covid-19 world, there are a whole set of new protocols to be observed when entering the biochemistry labs. The drop off hatch which I previously used has now been closed. Instead, there is now a drop off point where I place the delivery and wait until someone is appointed to come and collect it.

Likewise, there are similar changes at the virology labs. When entering, these are now protected by a distancing barrier at the main reception. Once approved and passed through I am able to use the lifts to the various floors, though these are now restricted to just two people at a time.

Of course, it is good to see all of these important protective measures in place, though it does mean the deliveries take considerably longer. Still, that isn’t too bad since I make up the time on the roads in Glasgow and beyond, which are all but deserted.

After my lunch break I am sent to the offices of global food supplier MacEwen Falconer in Woodlands to pick up an urgent package for delivery to Buchanan Street. That is followed by another of my daily jobs – at the Marie Curie hospice at Stobhill Hospital.

The samples I collect at the Marie Curie have to be delivered to various different labs at Glasgow Royal Infirmary, including haematology, biochemistry and virology. While at the Infirmary, I also make a stop at the pharmacy and collect medicines which have to be taken back to the Marie Curie.

That turns out to be my last run of the day. To finish up, I head back to our Glasgow depot to catch up on some paperwork – and more importantly to give the PHEV a wee bit more TLC. This time it is to plug in the vehicle and make sure it is fully charged for whatever tomorrow will throw at us.


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