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Powering patient care in times of need

Published: 13 November 2020 - Rachael Morling

HealthNet Homecare works with the NHS, pharmaceutical companies, patients and their families to enable the delivery of traditionally hospital-based treatments from home. 

When the need arose for a new back-up generator to guarantee the company could maintain storage conditions for on-site pharmaceuticals during the pandemic, the company turned to Finning UK and Ireland for help.
Continuous power for cold chain storage
HealthNet Homecare is a specialist homecare pharmacy that operates from large-scale purpose designed premises in the UK. It has over 100 years of combined experience and is committed to improving patient care by providing UK wide patient management, dispensing, controlled delivery, nurse training and a range of patient support programmes. As part of this, the company operates two pharmacies, which store a large amount of high-value pharmaceuticals.
“We provide care for patients with a range of conditions, including cancer, arthritis and severe asthma,” explained Chris Carver, Chief Operating Officer at HealthNet Homecare. “During the pandemic, it was important that our patients continue to take their regular medication as prescribed.
“Many of the medicines used to treat these conditions require specialist storage conditions — cold chain storage and distribution — to maintain the effectiveness of the product,” added Carver. “It is absolutely vital that these conditions are maintained, so as part of our business continuity, we need to be able to assure service delivery.”
The company therefore required a back-up generator to ensure that if mains power failed, it could continue to refrigerate the on-site pharmaceuticals in line with specialist storage requirements. To meet customer and insurance requirements, HealthNet Homecare needed the generator delivered and installed in a matter of weeks.
Implementing a solution
Finning received the enquiry from HealthNet Homecare during the Covid-19 lockdown, and it understood the essential nature of the project. To achieve the speed required by the customer, Finning collaborated with one of its installation partners, ABC Power Systems, due to the company’s nearby location in Yorkshire. 
The two companies visited HealthNet Homecare’s facility in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, to perform a survey and establish the best equipment for the application. The customer then requested the team attend a second site in Featherstone, Yorkshire, for a survey.
“We had an existing relationship with Finning — it had successfully managed and delivered a back-up power project for us a few years ago,” explained Carver. “I was confident it had the high-quality products and skills to rapidly deliver a quality generator package.”
“During the survey, Finning and ABC established which equipment would best meet the customer’s needs,” explained Leigh Hawkins, Electric Power Retail and Used Equipment Manager at Finning UK and Ireland. “The power requirement for the Featherstone site was 165 kVA and at the Swadlincote facility the company required 220 kVA. 
“The project at the Swadlincote site was also more complex as the customer required a single generator to power multiple buildings, including the pharmacy’s refrigeration units and equipment used to keep the office building running. Due to the customer and insurance pressure on HealthNet Homecare, we needed to balance high quality reliable power with speed,” added Hawkins. 
Finning identified that the best solution would be to supply a Cat® D165 to the Featherstone site and a Cat DE200 to the Swadlincote facility. Both gensets were built to world-class standards for high efficiency, low fuel consumption and emissions compliance.
Finning then retrofitted technology to the gensets to suit the application, such as a battery charger and jacket heater to keep the genset warm. In critical industries like healthcare, a jacket heater can reduce the start-up time from one minute to around 15 seconds. Finning’s capabilities to retrofit equipment to meet customer needs were essential to this project.
Once the gensets were ready, Finning delivered the Cat D165 and the Cat DE200 to relevant sites, along with the ATI panels. ABC Power provided all cabling and fittings needed and installed the generators into the facilities.
The order was completed two weeks after the enquiry date, with the entire length of the project being just five weeks. The customer has maintenance and testing included in the package to ensure long-term reliability, which will be provided by ABC Power.
“For delivering back-up power solutions, Finning has two routes to market, which enables us to deliver both complex, bespoke projects and meet rapid deadlines,” explained Hawkins. “In this case, where timeframe was important, we supplied stock from our store and retrofitted it to meet the customer’s requirements, working closely with our installation partners. Where time or budget is less pressing, Finning can build an entirely bespoke package.”
“I would definitely recommend Finning to other healthcare providers,” explained Carver. “The team has always done a great job and met our business needs. While we haven’t needed the back up generators yet, I am confident that we are now able to safeguard our patient’s medication in the case of a power cut.
“Finning delivers time and time again. The two latest installs give us the assurance we need to deliver our services to patients,” concluded Carver.
Finning supplies diesel generator sets ranging from 7.5 to 17,550 kVA. For more information on back-up power solutions for healthcare applications, click here.
Industry Connections: Finning (UK) Ltd

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