Alliance Healthcare UK Chessington service centre manager Glen Baxter (left), Minister Stephen Hammond and HDA's Martin Sawer.

Health Minister Stephen Hammond on Thursday visited the Chessington service centre of Alliance Healthcare and called it a ‘fascinating experience’.

Hammond’s visit to the Healthcare Distribution Association (HDA) member service centre was hosted by HDA executive director Martin Sawer.

Alliance Healthcare UK managing director, Julian Mount, greeted both Sawer and the minister and gave them a service centre tour.

The minister, who is an MP from Wimbledon, witnessed how the centre delivers vital medicines to pharmacies and hospitals across the south and south-east of England including his own constituency.

He also observed the semi-automated warehouse in full swing with orders being picked and packed ready for afternoon delivery.

“It was a fascinating experience to see how the operations worked. It is no mean feat for customers to receive two deliveries a day, five days a week and one on Saturday. It is apparent to me that healthcare distributors are pivotal in ensuring that all GP surgeries, pharmacies and hospitals are kept fully stocked with the medicines they need to keep their patients healthy,” Hammond said.

The minister was also given a demonstration of procedures required under the recently introduced falsified medicines directive.

“It was a pleasure to welcome the minister following his keynote address at the recent HDA Annual Conference where he thanked the distribution sector for the vital role it plays in ensuring the safe and consistent supply of healthcare products and medicines to patients across the UK. It is particularly reassuring the Minister continues to recognise the important role our members have played in the complex preparations for a no-deal Brexit,” said Martin Sawer.

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