Berkshire healthcare business helps NHS launch Nightingale Hospital
A Berkshire based medical supplies company has helped the NHS extend its critical care capabilities across the UK during the Coronavirus crisis, producing and delivering items such as resuscitation carts and infusion stands to England’s hospitals, including the new 4,000 bed Nightingale Hospital in London.
21 April 2020
Freeway Medical has experienced an unprecedented demand from the health service in recent weeks, including a request for 2,400 pieces of furniture to be produced and delivered within the three-week timeframe during which the Excel centre in London was converted into the new, temporary Nightingale Hospital.
The company was able to extend borrowing at short notice with its bank NatWest to ensure they could produce and deliver the equipment successfully. Tricia Jones, Director, Freeway Medical said: “As a supplier to the NHS for over 30 years, we’re proud to have been called upon to support the country at a time of such unprecedented need, but we needed access to both time and money to manufacture, assemble, package and brand the equipment that was required.
NatWest was able to lend us £500,000 quickly through their working capital service Rapid Cash, which in turn has allowed us to meet the demand from the NHS. This means we’ve been able to supply hospitals all over the country with vital medical technology and furniture at very short notice.”
The Thatcham based business also produces tech that ‘digitises’ hospital beds, allowing doctors looking after the critically ill to monitor patients remotely, reducing the risk of infection and freeing up crucial resource. The tech allows medical staff to view a patient’s vital signs and charts potentially from anywhere in the world. The company have provided 300 such beds to critical care areas in London hospitals, with plans to increase this further over the coming weeks.
Ms Jones’ business prefers using materials that are all sourced from UK manufacturers, and is both apprehensive and optimistic about the weeks ahead. “We’re all hoping that the country turns a corner sooner rather than later, but for the meantime we will continue to offer all the support possible we can to our health service, and in turn help as many people as possible through this crisis together.’