Coronavirus / Covid19

In these unprecedented and uncertain times, we fully appreciate that our trading partners and both internal and external stakeholders throughout the supply chain are eager for reassurance and understanding of the measures taken by our business to mitigate any potential impact of the current Coronavirus outbreak.

We therefore outline below some of the measures we are undertaking both from an employee safety / interaction perspective, and to ensure that robust business continuity planning is in place to maintain operational effectiveness.

Obviously, the environment within which we are functioning and the advice we are receiving from Central Government is continually evolving, and subsequently our planning and response strategy will evolve in line with those guidelines and the prevailing social environment.

As a responsible employer, we are undertaking the necessary actions to maintain hygiene standards, reduce instances of social interaction wherever practical, and prepare for increased absenteeism. These measures include;

  • Facilitating home working where appropriate
  • Stopping both internal and external face to face meetings
  • Adding increased hours to existing cleaning schedules
  • Additional provision of hand soap / sanitisers
  • Provision of protective gloves
  • Observing social distancing in the workplace
  • Ensuring flexibility in the workforce to cover essential rolls at a time of increased absenteeism

In conjunction with these measures, and in line with the Government advice, we are also stressing to all employees the importance and responsibility of all of us, as individuals, to adhere to the Government’s medical and social interaction advice. This is particularly relevant in the case of the washing of hands, capturing coughs, social distancing, and a heightened awareness of the symptom’s characteristic to the disease.

Having traded for over 30 years in our sector, The DE Group is a well-established and fundamental part of the primary care pharmaceutical supply chain in the UK. As a council member of the Healthcare Distributors Association (HDA), the DE Group are at the forefront of the ongoing collaborative process across the sector. The ongoing discussions coordinated by the HDA, including interactions with peer group companies, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Office (MHRA), the British Generic Manufacturers Association, BGMA, The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), alongside those bodies representing the pharmacy community. By listening to and understanding the input from these and other trade institutions, we believe we will be well placed to provide an informed and timely response to the dynamic, evolving market environment.

The pharmaceutical supply chain extends way beyond the UK, including some of those parts of the world most effected by the virus. The DE Group are working continuously and closely with all our manufacturers and suppliers to anticipate potential supply issues and ensure the continuity of medical supply.

As discussed above, whilst recognising our social responsibility and the need to mitigate the risk to all our employees and the employees of our supply chain partners, we also understand that as a supplier of pharmaceuticals to the vital primary care sector, our ultimate challenge is one of patient safety. We will continue to apply all of our best endeavours to ensure that even under such extenuating circumstances we can sustain a robust and reliable continuity of service to our customers and ultimately their patients.

None of us are sure of how the future social or supply chain environments may evolve over the coming weeks or months, but we can assure all our customers and supplier partners that with the ongoing support of our fantastic workforce,  we will adhere to all appropriate advice, maintain our business continuity protocols, and remain at all times focused on our customers and the patient.