Kent Search and Rescue team up with NHS to deliver medication

Kent volunteers that would usually search for missing people have turned their attention to helping the NHS deliver vital medication to patients.

KSAR are assisting East Kent Hospitals staff to distribute medicine to those that need them during the coronavirus pandemic.

The new initiative has been launched as part of East Kent Hospitals’ new adjustments to the coronavirus outbreak made by the Trust’s pharmaceutical team which includes now includes virtual communication with patients.

Kent Search and Rescue team      Credit: East Kent Hospitals

Medicines value team leader Jo Ringer said: “After patients have a telephone or telemedicine consultation with hospital staff we needed to find a way to get their medicines to them.

“Some may be shielded, self-isolating or simply unable to attend in person, so we had to find a safe and effective delivery service.

“We contacted the Kent Search and Rescue Team and within a few days they provided us with a system using their volunteers who normally are on call to provide search and rescue skills across Kent.”

Deliveries will adhere to the national social distancing measures and will be contact-free and tracked by the Kent Search and Rescue APP.

 

Kent and Canterbury is one of the hospitals benefiting from the volunteer work Credit: East Kent Hospitals

Jo said: “We are fortunate to have the support of colleagues, including ophthalmology technicians who have been redeployed from their normal work, as well as the local clinical commissioning group pharmacy team.

“This delivery service is making a real difference to our patients and we’re grateful to the KSAR team for their help.”

The system has already shown signs of being beneficial and because of the new service, an 88-year-old who had an infected corneal graft was able to receive antibiotics without leaving her home after an online consultation with staff at the NHS.

It is vital that medications are delivered to the most vulnerable patients

Martin Kingman, spokesman for Kent Search and Rescue, said teams were delighted to be able to help.

He said: “Our volunteers are always ready to help whenever and wherever they are needed and this essential work is no exception.

“It’s a privilege to be able to help the NHS in this way and to bring vital medicines to some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”

The service is now live and accessible to the public. To request delivery please email ekhuft.medicinedelivery@nhs.net