Julia Lopez MP visits AAH in Romford to celebrate major investment

AAH Pharmaceuticals in Harold Hill, Romford, welcomed Julia Lopez MP for Hornchurch and Upminster earlier this month (Friday 8th April); Ms Lopez unveiled a plaque which celebrates a significant business investment, and congratulated the team on their hard work throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.

AAH Pharmaceuticals is the UK’s largest full-service wholesaler and distributer of medicines. The branch in Romford delivers medicines and medical products across Essex, London, Kent, Cambridge, Norfolk, and Suffolk to customers including community pharmacies, over 80 NHS hospitals, and various mental health and prison trusts. AAH Pharmaceuticals in Romford employs over 200 people, most of whom live locally and have spent their entire careers at the site.

During Ms Lopez’s visit, she unveiled a plaque to commemorate the investment of £9 million in the branch over recent years. This was used to update the site’s automation and to extend its operations, improving efficiency and increasing capacity to support future growth; enhance the building insulation to improve temperature control and reduce energy use; and upgrade colleague facilities to improve the team’s environment. The business also invested in a new specialist fridge to increase capacity for the handling of temperature-controlled medicines.

Ms. Lopez’s visit was also an opportunity to recognise the achievements of colleagues from AAH Romford during the Covid-19 pandemic. Challenges caused by the pandemic created a huge rise in demand for medications, but the team took this in their stride. They also played a crucial role in preparing the NHS Nightingale hospital for patients; providing the medicines and supplies needed to open in an unpreceded turnaround time.

Julia Lopez MP commented:

“It was fantastic to visit AAH’s Romford warehouse in Harold Hill [this morning] to meet some of the team who helped the country through the toughest times of the pandemic. We all understand the contribution of frontline medical teams, scientists and others to the national effort but may not have thought about all the people involved behind the scenes in the distribution of vital medicines and supplies. AAH workers were deemed so essential that they were permitted to keep going through lockdown, and even supplied the first Nightingale Hospital at Excel.

“I was glad also to unveil a plaque to mark the tremendous new investment that has been made in the facility by AAH. They are one of Havering’s biggest employers, with a great team spirit and many local people who have worked in the warehouse for decades. The borough should feel proud of these key workers’ service in taking London through such difficult days and making sure we never ran out of critical medicines for patients, and I was very grateful for the chance to thank them in person.”

Ashley Cowen, Operations Director at AAH, welcomed Ms Lopez on the day, he commented:

“We’re incredibly proud of our colleagues and their tremendous hard work, particularly over the last few years. The team in Romford were instrumental in the opening of the Nightingale hospitals and in ensuring communities could access vital medicines. The investment in our Romford branch marks another step in our programme of investment and improvement as we work to enhance the service we offer customers, and to future-proof the business.

“We’re grateful to Julia Lopez for taking the time to visit us at AAH Romford to meet our colleagues who are making a difference, understand the complexities of medicine distribution, and to see the important role that AAH Pharmaceuticals plays in the wider healthcare system.”