How L&M Healthcare managed to procure PPE and other vital supplies

So how did director of facilities and procurement Graeme Duncan manage to make sure that all L&M Healthcare homes had everything we needed, when other homes were struggling to get hold of the basics?  He admitted it wasn’t all plain sailing, but says he never once thought, ‘I’m not going to be able to get this.’

Graeme puts it down to three things; good pre-planning, good relationships with suppliers and a senior team who put the benefit to the health and safety of staff and residents before the cost. 

‘We didn’t wait to see how the pandemic was going to pan out and what help the government might give us,’ said Graeme, ‘We thought through what extra PPE we would need if our homes were infected before Covid-19 hit the UK, and before Government guidelines were issued, and once it did, we got our orders in fast.’

Graham with PPE

L&M Healthcare homes have always carried a full stock of PPE, we believe a good home runs on stringent hygiene practises and these are adhered to at all times. But dealing with Covid-19 meant that other forms of PPE were now required. ‘All of a sudden, we needed face shields and masks, laundry bags that dissolved, orange bags for the safe disposal of PPE, they then needed the orange bins to put them in too, and that meant we needed orange bins for inside and orange bins for outside. It was a learning curve, but it was aided by the support of long standing suppliers who were very loyal. B&M Supplies in the Wirral were extremely loyal and really helpful’ said Graeme, ‘They even tried hard not to increase the cost until the supply chain dictated it, and at that point they were very transparent with their prices, so I knew what was coming and was able to manage our cash flow.’ 

Part of good pre-planning is to look at innovation and L&M Healthcare look at every plan from an innovative point of view and ask ourselves ‘how we can do it better?’ Part of stopping the spread of any disease is infection control. We immediately invested in Ozone Clean, a mobile deep cleaning system that uses air to eliminate odours, helps to control infections and maintains a fresh smelling environment. We also trialled AIRSteril in residents’ bedrooms, a silent unit that uses thermal UV to eliminate bacteria, viruses and unpleasant odours and help control infections. Initial feedback has been excellent and if proved successful, we will roll out across all homes.

PPE Deliveries

When you look back, executing a well thought through plan and a common-sense approach to business planning prevailed for L&M Healthcare. But it undoubtedly helped that the Graeme is an economics graduate and part of a forward thinking senior management team that had the full support of the business owners.

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