A Hertfordshire-based logistics firm which provided free storage space to the NHS at the height of the coronavirus pandemic has consolidated the relationship into a longer-term commercial arrangement.
Storage and distribution specialist Aztek Logistics stepped in to assist NHS East Ambulance Service in spring 2020 by holding high volumes of PPE and medical equipment free of charge.
Now, the two organisations have formalised the agreement to manage the stock and distribution of all consumables that go into the service’s fleet of ambulances – from PPE and test kits to bandages and mops and buckets.
The storage in Aztek’s 120,000 sq. ft. premises ensured the sanitised medical items remained safe and clean until they were called off to replenish stock levels at the local NHS East Ambulance station.
“The local Letchworth station has only very limited space and, with the need for a larger stores requirement, they asked if we could help,” said Aztek operations manager Duncan Pannell.
“Initially, we agreed to hold around 100 pallets free of charge for about a year until we made it a commercial relationship.
“We continue to hold around 100 items of turning stock for them and also deliver it back to the Letchworth station when it is called off.”
Aztek Logistics, which is a shareholder member of the Pallet-Track network, stepped up to help the NHS East Ambulance Service last spring after the service received an influx of PPE at the height of the first lockdown.
At the time, grateful members of the NHS East Ambulance Service visited the Aztek team in Letchworth Garden City to personally thank them for their help.
Aztek managing director Stuart Charter said: “Stepping up to offer help free of charge was the right thing to do at the time – they had a need and we had the clean storage space.
“We were happy to help throughout the pandemic. We all took part in the clap for NHS on a Thursday night, but we knew we could do more to assist the front line.
“That relationship has continued to develop from strength to strength and the NHS felt that the relationship should be formalised and become a longer-term arrangement.”
It is not the only assistance Aztek, which formed in 2003, has provided to the health service during the pandemic. Back in March 2020, it delivered specialist flooring into the Nightingale Hospitals at the Birmingham NEC, the ExCel in London’s Docklands, Harrogate Convention Centre, the University of the West of England in Bristol and Cardiff’s Principality Stadium.