The South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust – a member of business group Logistics UK – has converted its 14-seat low floor coach into a unique mobile vaccination unit to administer thousands of urgent vaccines to vulnerable communities in Northern Ireland, in a show of care, determination, and community spirit that the logistics industry is being increasingly recognised for throughout the UK.
Richard Walker, Service Lead for the South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust, worked with Ballymena-based company Nu-Track to design a vehicle that would maximise available space for vaccinations while adhering to social distancing and heightened infection prevention control measures. Together, they were able to convert the vehicle in just three weeks, in time for the start of the December 2020 vaccination programme. The vehicle has since been used extensively in the community roll out of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Jayne Currie, Logistics UK’s Member Relations Manager for Northern Ireland, comments: “It is incredible to think that the vehicle was designed and built within three weeks and is the only one of its type in the UK that we are aware of. We are in awe of the Trust and Nu-Track for coming up with the idea and executing it so quickly and effectively – a true display of the ingenuity of logistics.”
Rob Shiels, Managing Director of Nu-Track, comments: “It was a privilege for Nu-Track to be involved in the production of this one-of-a-kind COVID-19 vaccination vehicle for South Eastern Health & Social Care Trust. With only a three week turnaround available, our team designed and built a bespoke vehicle that is suitable for the requirements but could also easily be returned to its original state as an accessible bus at any point in the future.”
The temperatures of staff are checked at the entrance of the vehicle using a tablet, while inside are two cubicles to ensure patients’ privacy and nursing staff have enough space to work safely. Conscious that the nursing staff would be on site all day without access to amenities, the vehicle is fitted with a small kitchen; there is also with a ramp for wheelchair access. The unit is fully Wi-Fi enabled to relay real time information back to the Trust’s headquarters. A large 50” public facing monitor is used for public messaging.