DPD gives welfare packs to 160 NHS hospitals

DPD UK has responded to a palliative care nurse’s idea to deliver welfare packs and treats for patients and NHS staff.

The ‘NHS Thursday’ packs will be delivered by DPD to 160 NHS hospitals nationwide. The items have been donated by DPD staff from their home store cupboards or goods specially bought for the project.

The welfare pack includes cosmetics and toiletries such as shampoo, shower gel, sanitary products, toothpaste, make-up, shaving foam and disposable razors.  The food and treat packs contain instant noodles, energy drinks, biscuits, crisps, tea and coffee. They will be delivered on the existing NHS-contracted delivery runs made by the courier company.

The idea came from Nikitta Jones who is a palliative care nurse at the Ysbyty Cwm Cynon at the Cynon Valley Hospital close to Merthyr Tydfil. Her partner is Nikos Minadakis, a DPD delivery driver who is based at the Cardiff depot. She had explained to him that families can no longer visit the ward thanks to Covid-19 restrictions. In addition to the loss of contact patients aren’t getting the treats they usually receive from home.

Nikitta commented: “The whole team on Ward 6 are amazing and I’m so proud of the work they do, but it is very difficult at the moment to give our patients everything they need. It is important to be able to maintain their dignity and give them the kind of home comforts their families would normally bring in. So, partly this is about providing essential items for personal hygiene and partly it is about being able to treat our patients the way their families would.”

Discussing what he’d been told with his partner with colleagues, they suggested to Nikos that Nikitta email DPD UK CEO Swain McDonald direct. The CEO liked the idea and and asked all 68 depots what they thought.

Dwain McDonald, commented: “When Nikitta explained the issue, it was a no-brainer. But neither of us were expecting it to turn into a nationwide initiative.  We have been blown away by the response from staff. We are incredibly busy at the moment, but everyone we spoke to within DPD wanted to help.

“Nikitta originally only asked for a bag of shopping for her own ward, but in talking to her and the team it has turned into something far bigger.  Everyone has jumped on this and we still have more donations coming in. I can see us running this again next week and for as long as it is required.  The packs are designed for patients and the NHS staff themselves. We wanted to help people like Nikitta look after everyone, but we also wanted to say a massive thank you to NHS workers and help keep their energy levels up too.”