CitySprint's vital contribution to University of Liverpool's rapid health response

In times of unprecedented health crises, the University of Liverpool found itself on the front lines, battling both the COVID-19 pandemic and an unexpected Monkeypox outbreak in 2022. The key to managing these infectious diseases? Swift and precise testing. Enter, CitySprint. A trusted delivery service provider, which played a pivotal role in supporting the University of Liverpool's crucial work during these demanding periods.

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28 Nov 2023
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Answering the COVID-19 Call: A Swift Response

When COVID-19 struck with speed, the University of Liverpool wasted no time. They initiated a testing program with a unique focus: identifying asymptomatic cases. The goal? To provide evidence on how testing could be seamlessly integrated into broader strategies to curb virus transmission. Timely results were imperative.

Overnight, large-scale testing began, and this massive undertaking necessitated a dependable delivery service. CitySprint became the linchpin in ensuring that samples reached the university's laboratories quickly and efficiently. This timely delivery allowed researchers to dive into their work, shedding light on the then mysteries of COVID-19.

As new variants of the virus emerged, the university faced fresh challenges. To assess the effectiveness of existing vaccines against these new strains, the research team required samples of the variants—and they needed them within a single day. Here, CitySprint's agility and speed proved indispensable, ensuring the prompt delivery of these critical samples within 24 hours.

Adding to the complexity of the situation was the diversity among hospitals. Each operated differently, with specific locations designated for sample collection. This intricate web of hospital operations called for a partner who could adapt to these unique requirements while maintaining efficiency. CitySprint's flexibility proved invaluable in its navigation of the different operating requirements.

Handling COVID-19 samples safely and securely was also paramount. Samples needed to be transported to the laboratory in a way that complied with stringent safety standards and upheld privacy regulations. CitySprint's unwavering commitment to maintaining these high standards ensured the integrity of the research and the safety of everyone involved.

Monkeypox: A New Challenge Arises

In the summer of 2022, the University of Liverpool faced a fresh hurdle with the sudden outbreak of Monkeypox. Time was of the essence, and every sample collected from individuals' homes carried immense significance. Unlike COVID-19 samples, primarily gathered from hospitals, Monkeypox samples had to be obtained directly from people's homes.

CitySprint leaped into action, orchestrating a logistics operation that involved collecting samples from central London and delivering them to Liverpool the next day. To ensure the samples reached the laboratory promptly, CitySprint scheduled a vehicle to leave London at 4:00 AM, guaranteeing delivery by 9:00 AM. The unique nature of Monkeypox samples, which required specialised handling involving dry ice, was handled skilfully by CitySprint's trained couriers.

Support for individuals providing Monkeypox samples was another facet of the operation. Unlike hospitals, these individuals required more support throughout the collection process. The reliability of CitySprint in both safety and logistics was crucial in ensuring that samples were collected securely and reached the University of Liverpool's laboratories in optimal condition.

Collaborating to Curb Virus Transmission

Throughout both the COVID-19 pandemic and the Monkeypox outbreak, the University of Liverpool needed a partner they could trust—one with experience in the rapid handling and delivery of critical samples. CitySprint proved to be a reliable partner, demonstrating resilience, adaptability, and support.

The partnership extended across 60 sites throughout the UK and an impressive total of 32,000 samples were collected and delivered across England and Scotland, through their work on COVID-19 samples. CitySprint's efficient delivery services enabled the University of Liverpool to conduct genetic coding analysis with some samples even making their way to the United States for further study, showcasing the depth of the collaboration's impact and the breadth of research conducted.

Reflecting on the partnership, Hayley Hadwick, Senior Programme Manager in Clinical Research at the University of Liverpool remarked, "CitySprint was resilient, adaptable and hugely supportive. They stand out as a result of the loyal and consistent support they offered us. At one point they were like an extension of my team, and this was what allowed us to work so well together. The success of the testing programmes and contribution we made to reduce and contain the transmission of the virus is testament to their dedication and flexible approach."

The partnership between the University of Liverpool and CitySprint during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Monkeypox outbreak serves as a shining example of effective collaboration in the face of urgent health challenges. CitySprint's rapid, secure, and compliant sample delivery services played a central role in facilitating critical research, ultimately advancing our understanding of these infectious diseases and the development of effective public health measures. Their work together underscores the significance of agility, trust, and expertise in addressing and surmounting significant health crises of the past and exemplifies how to best be prepared for ones of the future. 

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