Royal Mail trial to pave the way for same day delivery service for medication
Royal Mail is working with Echo by LloydsPharmacy to trial faster deliveries of prescriptions to some residents in London and the South East. The trial aims to give customers a speedy, convenient and secure way to order and receive vital medicine from the comfort of their own home.
Initially, customers with time-sensitive requirements who are ordering at night will receive their deliveries a whole day earlier than they do now. The trial paves the way for a same day delivery service covering morning orders for urgent medication.
Under current arrangements, orders received at night by Echo by LloydsPharmacy are despatched the following day and delivered to the customer the day after that. This innovative new service enables prescriptions fulfilled the night before to be handed over to Royal Mail in the early hours of the morning and to be delivered to the customer later in the day.
Although the service offers greater convenience for all, it is especially important for vulnerable people who are shielding or not comfortable with leaving their home at the moment.
The move comes as Royal Mail builds on its efforts to help in the nation’s fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. Royal Mail has been working closely with pharmacy companies and NHS trusts across the UK throughout the pandemic by delivering many prescriptions and hospital appointments. Royal Mail has also been a key partner for the Government’s Coronavirus testing programme since the start of the pandemic, delivering and collecting test kits across the UK since April 2020.
The Company also pioneered a unique network of priority postboxes for the rapid return of test kits to labs to help in the country’s fight against the pandemic. This enabled customers to return their tests quickly and conveniently. The company soon extended collections to take place on a Sunday for the first time. As well as being clearly marked, priority postboxes can also be identified via the Royal Mail website or app.
Royal Mail has delivered around one billion items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to care homes, GP surgeries and social care providers since April 2020. Royal Mail also delivers vaccination letters on behalf of the government, inviting people to book their appointments.
Even before the pandemic, Royal Mail handled samples and medication for the NHS on a regular basis.
Benoit Machefer, CEO at Echo by LloydsPharmacy: “Echo is on a mission to simplify pharmacy. We want to ensure that patients always have a simple and reliable way to get hold of their medicine. Much like our recently launched feature that lets patients order online and collect at a LloydsPharmacy, faster delivery gives patients another option for getting their medicine when and where they need it – meaning they’ll have one less thing to worry about.”
Nick Landon, Chief Commercial Officer at Royal Mail, said: “At Royal Mail, we’re always looking for ways to introduce more convenient services for our customers. Our partnership with Echo by LloydsPharmacy to deliver prescriptions a whole day earlier is the first step in developing new same day services that could bring much greater convenience and peace of mind to customers across the UK. Royal Mail has already played a crucial role in the fast delivery and collection of millions of test kits to help in the nation’s fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. The faster delivery of medicines is another example of how we are supporting customers – especially those who aren’t able to leave their homes.”