Andy Williams By Director of Clinical & Customer Care Published:

With the health and safety of our patients being our main priority during the coronavirus pandemic, we wanted to share how our trusted delivery partner, Royal Mail, is helping us ensure people receive their medication as safely as possible.

Keep yourself updated

We’re working closely with Royal Mail to make sure they are doing everything they can to ensure medicines continue to reach our patients, all across the country, most of whom may not have the option to leave their homes. It is likely that some areas of the country will experience some disruption during these difficult times. To help protect postal workers and the general public, they have reviewed and made adjustments to their ways of working and they are posting regular service updates here.

Receiving deliveries

The majority of our deliveries can fit through the letterbox, meaning most of our patients can receive their medication safely, with little to no contact, if you have consented to having your parcels delivered in this way. The World Health Organisation has stated that the risk of catching the coronavirus from a package is low and public health authorities in England have also advised that under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 24 hours, and even more so by 48 hours. That being said, it is still wise for you to wash your hands after receiving and opening your parcels just to be safe. If the size of your parcel allows it to be posted through your letterbox, it may be worth checking you have given us permission to do this in the delivery preferences of your online account, if it is safe for us to do so.

For items that are too big to fit through your letterbox, Royal Mail will now knock on your door and place your item at the doorstep, before moving to a safe distance for you to pick up your parcel.

Social distancing during delivery

Royal Mail have also made changes to deliveries which require a signature. To help minimise contact between you and the postman or postwoman, they will not be handing over the usual hand-held devices to capture signatures but instead will log the name of the person accepting the item.  

For those of us who are still leaving the house, if a signature is needed and you’re out at work or shopping for essentials, they will leave a ‘Something For You’ card. This will advise of the ways you can arrange to get your item by having it redelivered (for free) or collecting from the local customer service point. If you need to collect your parcel but you’re unable or would rather not go out at this time, you can get a friend or family member to collect it for you. They just need to bring along the card that was left for you and relevant ID.

Royal Mail have also temporarily extended the retention period to 30 calendar days before items are returned to the sender, giving you longer to collect or arrange a free redelivery.

Royal Mail have some helpful frequently asked questions and answers on how they are dealing with the coronavirus situation here.

Help us show our gratitude

Royal Mail are a key part of our service, helping us to deliver essential medication. Their staff are working hard for our patients, and everyone else throughout this difficult time. We wanted to make sure they all receive our heartfelt thanks by including stickers on each and every one of our dispatches, thanking the Royal Mail staff in the depots and on the streets, for delivering such an essential service across the nation. When your parcel arrives, be sure to share your pictures with us on social media, using #communityheroes.

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In the meantime, please continue to keep safe and healthy in these difficult times.