Royal Mail Health has announced it has launched a new business division of the company as it expands into the growing ‘healthcare at home’ industry.
The company stated it is working across the healthcare industry, including with local pharmacies, to ensure consumers can quickly and conveniently access the healthcare and medical products they need, through whichever route they choose to purchase.
According to Royal Mail, the company is building on its experience from delivering during the pandemic. The company has been a key partner for the Government’s COVID-19 testing programme since the start of the pandemic, increasing capacity to 1m test kit deliveries a day in December 2021. Royal Mail also introduced a network of priority post-boxes for the rapid return of test kits to labs.
Royal Mail Health will initially focus on the following four areas of healthcare delivery:
Providing healthcare direct to homes
Royal Mail Health will be developing its partnership with Pharmacy2U further in 2022 to ensure that NHS patients who are prescribed medication can order and receive it quickly and conveniently with free delivery.
The UK prescription market is growing 3.5% year on year with 5% of prescriptions now online, according to NHS figures. There is increasing consumer demand for access to prescription medicines delivered directly to people’s homes, reinforced by changes in online shopping behaviours in the last two years.
Creating local to local networks to support pharmacies
Royal Mail Health stated it will be creating a ‘local to local’ network to enable the company to collect healthcare products from independent pharmacies and deliver those to the pharmacist’s local patients.
Digitally connecting community pharmacies and patients
Royal Mail Health has invested £1m in Charac, the NHS-integrated, one-stop platform for independent community pharmacies. This investment looks to support the changing role of the local community pharmacist as the nation’s healthcare system evolves.
Working with Charac, local pharmacies will be able to provide an online ordering system for their patient’s healthcare products as well as enabling a fully digitised way to book follow-up consultations and services in the local pharmacy.
Checking on vulnerable people
Royal Mail Health will explore opportunities for its delivery workers to check on vulnerable people. Royal Mail stated it is currently identifying potential partners to work with in this space and planning trials.
Last year, Royal Mail worked with businesses including Pharmacy2U to trial same-day delivery of ‘over-the-counter’ medicines and faster deliveries of prescriptions to some postcode areas across the UK. Royal Mail is now reviewing options to roll-out these services more widely.
Source: Royal Mail