The NHS has drafted in DHL Supply Chain to support the running of six Nightingale field hospitals set up to provide emergency care to COVID-19 patients.

The company is also playing a key role in delivering vital medical supplies as well as providing non-emergency ambulance services.

The supply chain operation, which would normally take up to six months to put in place, was launched within two weeks, which enabled ExCeL London to be transformed into a hospital in record time.

DHL Supply Chain is handling deliveries of medical equipment from operations centres set up in Skelmersdale, Lancashire, and Liverpool.

The sites, which will handle over 20,000 pallets in the next two months, will see around 3,000 lines of key medical equipment and consumables received, stored, picked and delivered straight to the hospitals.

Patient monitors and ultrasound systems will be assembled on site by the manufacturers, so that the equipment can be put into immediate use in ICU departments or field hospitals.

DHL’s NHS procurement teams have also been helping source COVID-19 equipment and consumables for NHS Trust ICUs and the Nightingale field hospital including ventilators, patient monitoring, vascular ultrasound, mobile X-Ray, laryngoscopes and CT scanners.

Phased deliveries for the new equipment will run over the next two months.

In addition, DHL’s patient transport team are providing extra non-emergency ambulance services to patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who are being cared for in the community.

David Pierpoint, DHL Supply chain’s UK MD for the life sciences and healthcare division, said: “This is a time when businesses need to get behind our National Health Service more than ever.

“Through the expertise and commitment of our teams and their drive to support frontline NHS workers and patients, we’ve helped get a new hospital open in a matter of days, alleviate pressure on the ambulance service and access much-needed equipment.”