Latest statement from AAH Sales and Operations Director Ashley Cowen

Our response to the changing COVID-19 environment and supporting you, key workers for your community

Dear Customer,

In less than 10 days the way we live, the way we work and the support we all give our local communities has dramatically altered.

The evolving Covid-19 outbreak has led to an unprecedented surge in demand for pharmacy products and services across the UK. On the frontline of this epidemic, AAH is playing a critical role to ensure you continue to have access to the medications you and your patients need during this challenging time.

Businesses are having to adapt rapidly and in the week since the UK was asked to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives AAH has overcome many challenges while striving to maintain the service you expect.

We have had to re-work our operations and implement changes in less than a week, something that would historically have taken much longer to achieve. It is this agility and focus, along with the dedication of our people, that has enabled us to provide the safe and steady supply of essential medicines to you and ultimately your patients.

You may recall I wrote recently notifying of changes to our service. We are experiencing a dramatic increased demand for product, and to ensure continuity of our delivery service we had to make sure AAH warehouses knew about your order a little bit earlier. This meant bringing forward the cut off time. We also had to reduce availability of OTC lines for a short period to ensure critical medicines took priority. Encouragingly, we switched these lines back on after only a few days, so a full product range is once again available through the AAH network.

Our workforce, like others, has been impacted by Covid-19 which is why we are urgently recruiting additional resources nationwide to help as warehouse operatives, supervisors and drivers. We are already starting to induct new colleagues into the AAH network which I hope reassures you of our commitment to delivering a full service offering through this crisis.

As part of McKesson UK family we are working hard to highlight the extraordinary effort that community pharmacy and the medicines supply chain is making to ensure patients have access to their vital medication. We are also taking every opportunity to speak to the various governments and health departments across all countries in the UK, either directly or through our representative and trade bodies to bring their attention to the unprecedented challenges and increased costs that our important sectors are experiencing.

This week we await details from the PSNC regarding the proposed medicines delivery service for England which looks to support the 1.5 million who have been advised to stay at home for 12 weeks. Once we have received this, and reviewed any new pharmacy processes, we will happily share our advice and support with you.

To help us help you I would also like to make a personal plea for the timely return of tote boxes; simply they are a critical component of making your daily orders run on time and to schedule.

Finally, I want to thank you for your support and understanding in this testing time and want to reassure you of our commitment to deliver your essential orders in a timely, efficient and safe manner.

For timely updates I recommend following @yourAAH on Twitter or LinkedIn, as well as visiting www.aah.co.uk for more detailed notifications of any change to our service.

Yours faithfully

Ashley Cowen AAH Sales and Operations Director