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Queuing 20 minutes for end of life drugs – hazards of the virus lockdown in Glasgow

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DAY 6 of our intrepid Covid Courier’s journal, as she enters a second week of supporting the NHS through the Coronavirus Crisis

Eagle Couriers in Glasgow, Scotland

Eagle Couriers operates an extensive fleet of vehicles in Glasgow, Scotland

BY ALYSON McKELL

IT’S MONDAY again and I’m on the road early to start another week as a courier working while the world is under lockdown.

For me, the day starts sharp at 7am, when I pick up paperwork and documents for a number of legal firms. Some of those documents are collected from a dedicated network exclusively for legal firms.

However, I also stop at a Royal Mail sorting office to collect bundles of mail for legal companies which need to see that material long before the postie could deliver it.

While I’m at that sorting office I can’t help but notice that the car park is full at 8am. That is extremely unusual while we are in this Covid-19 lockdown. Particularly since the rest of town is still eerily quiet.

By 8.20am I’m heading onto the M8 motorway destined for Queenslie, where there is another regular stopping point – the depot of a UK wide overnight delivery network. The motorway is virtually empty, apart from a number of police cars.

Later I am back into Glasgow city centre, this time to pick up legal paperwork from a law firm and to deliver it safely to the Royal Mail sorting office. Many legal firms are still turning out work and the most important items need a guaranteed deadline delivery.

Next up I pick up another regular job, visiting the Marie Curie Hospice at Stobhill Hospital to collect samples and other material to be taken to Glasgow Royal Infirmary (GRI). There I also check at various departments for anything important to be taken back to the hospice on the return leg.

Medical supplies delivered by Eagle Couriers

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

The next job is also an important NHS staple, collecting samples from Sandyford, the specialist sexual health service for Greater Glasgow and Clyde. Those samples have to be safely delivered to the GRI laboratories for testing.

An unexpected bonus of the Coronavirus pandemic is that the roads are deserted, which means all of those NHS jobs are competed far more quickly than the normally could be, while parking is also considerably easier.

After lunch my next job was a palliative care job from the Cairntoul Practice in Glasgow. This involved a journey to a branch of Boots in Clydebank, to collect medicines which then needed delivered to a care home in Yoker.

However, while I made up time on the empty roads, I faced an unexpected delay at Boots. Due to Covid-19 there was a queue outside which I had to join and it took 20 minutes to eventually collect the medication.

This was disappointing. Other branches of Boots generally prioritise the collection of medications when they know it is for end of life palliative care so there is no waiting time.

To round off the day, I visit the Scottish Ambulance Service base at Glasgow Airport to collect an item that is bound for Inverness by overnight delivery and which I drop off at the Eagle Couriers depot in Glasgow.

My final run of the day is to make a delivery from Polmadie to Springburn.

And there ends another shift with Eagle Couriers in lockdown Glasgow.

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