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Vital NHS deliveries keep 35-strong courier fleet on the road

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Eagle Couriers plays important role supporting NHS services in Glasgow through Covid-19 crisis

Murray Hogarth of Eagle Couriers

ESSENTIAL work on behalf of the NHS in Glasgow is keeping a fleet of 35 vehicles on the road during lockdown in the city, for Scotland’s biggest independent courier firm.

Drivers with Eagle Couriers have seen a dramatic increase in the range and numbers of deliveries they are making for hospices, hospitals, clinics, the blood transfusion service and various other frontline health services.

They are also being called on regularly to ferry vital medicines to the homes of cancer patients and to deliver palliative care drugs to numerous care homes across Greater Glasgow.

Murray Hogarth, Dispatch Control Manager with Eagle Couriers, said: “Like any company, we are feeling the effects of the lockdown. It’s a difficult time because so many businesses have simply shut down and we have lost many regular contracts.

“However, our work with the NHS is keeping us going. It is also giving the entire team a real sense of purpose. It is such a privilege to be helping NHS and care professionals at this time.

“We have been called on to deliver vital PPE to nurses at the Marie Curie hospice and various hospitals. Likewise, our staff regularly collect medicines form the Beatson Cancer Centre to deliver to patients who can’t currently attend themselves.

“On a daily basis our drivers are criss-crossing the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area doing work that involves collecting and delivering samples and other important medical files and materials.

“We also do extensive work with the phlebotomy service making sure that blood samples from all over the area are delivered safely to the testing labs at both the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

“Currently it feels like there is not a GP practice, a clinic or a hospital in the entire area that we aren’t visiting regularly, and we are at some – like the Marie Curie Hospice and the Infirmary – every day without fail.

“We all know exactly what kind of pressure the NHS is facing at the moment with the Coronavirus pandemic, so every member of our team is proud to be helping in any small way we can.”

The Mitsubishi hybrid electric vehicle which is the pride of Eagle Couriers’ Glasgow fleet

All of the firm’s drivers are deemed essential workers and are also observing strict social distancing protocols on every delivery, meeting stringent standards at each NHS facility.

Other major jobs involving the courier firm include making deliveries from the hi-tech NHS Pharmacy Distribution Centre in Ibrox, which is responsible for all medicines used in hospitals and clinics throughout Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

The firm also undertakes multiple daily jobs on behalf of Sandyford, the specialist reproductive and sexual health service for Greater Glasgow and Clyde.

One of Eagle Couriers’ longest standing contracts is with the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS). That involves a wide variety of pick-ups and deliveries. A daily staple is to collect samples which are helicoptered into Glasgow Airport from other parts of the country

Outwith the NHS, the firm is also supporting a major commercial pharmacy chain. Eagle Couriers makes available its six specially trained couriers who can drive refrigerated vehicles and they help the chain maintain deliveries all across Scotland.

Murray added: “We also do a large amount of work collecting prescriptions for palliative care. We collect the medications from pharmacies and then deliver them to care homes, or to the homes of patients who have been discharged. We treat every one of those like a 999 job, because they are for people who are at the end of their lives.”

Elsewhere, the courier firm, which has its HQ in Bathgate and major depots in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, is even helping the children of NHS staff and other frontline workers.

A member of the team at the firm’s Bathgate HQ, who coordinate collections and deliveries all over Scotland

During normal times Eagle Couriers deliver hot meals to schools across Glasgow which don’t have their own kitchens. Since the lockdown, the firm’s couriers have continued to deliver meals to the small number of schools open for children of essential workers.

The firm has more than 35 years’ experience and a 75-strong fleet in Scotland. Its headquarters are in Bathgate, West Lothian and it has depots in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Managing Director Fiona Deas has been with the firm for 22 years and was named ‘Business Woman of the Year’ at The Scottish Women’s Awards 2018.

Ongoing success of the firm saw it acquire baggage repatriation firm THS Couriers in 2017 and Surrey-based Wey Group International in 2018, boosting the firm by expanding south of the border.

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