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Protecting medicines at NHS Nightingale

Checkit’s rapid response provides NHS Nightingale with automated medical monitoring in a matter of days

At the outset of the Covid-19 crisis, Checkit launched a rapid response to support the NHS by installing automated temperature monitoring equipment at NHS Nightingale field hospitals, protecting critical inventory and easing pressure on staff.

Building a hospital in 10 days

The UK’s first NHS Nightingale hospital was set up at the London ExCeL centre to expand the country’s capacity to treat patients suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic.

It officially opened on 3rd April 2020, just 10 days after the Government announced plans for the facility.

The creation of the NHS Nightingale London Hospital in such challenging circumstances was the result of a massive logistical effort from NHS staff, volunteers and military personnel.

Checkit stepped forward at an early stage to offer unequivocal support to this and other NHS Nightingale hospitals being set up across the country.

As a long-standing supplier of technology and associated services to more than 300 NHS sites across the UK, Checkit’s track record was quickly recognised.

Barts Health NHS Trust, which was appointed by NHS London to run the hospital, was already a user of Checkit’s Tutela medical monitoring system.

As a starting point, Checkit immediately identified that the field hospital would require extensive automated temperature monitoring systems to uphold safe storage conditions for medicines and other critical inventory held within the facility.

When the offer was accepted, Checkit mobilised its technical and engineering teams within hours to design, configure and install two separate UKAS calibrated wireless monitoring systems in accordance with CQC and HTA requirements.

Within seven working days, the real-time monitoring systems were fully installed and activated to ensure the safe and compliant storage of critical items and reduce the staff burden of carrying out manual temperature checking procedures.

Real-time medical monitoring

Following the initial request for monitoring of up to 40 refrigerated containers, Checkit’s engineers calibrated and configured an Automated Monitoring + system within one day so that installation could commence as quickly as possible.

Working closely with contractors, on-site Army personnel and members of Barts Health NHS Trust, the Checkit team mapped out the IT requirements for the system.

Two days later, Checkit’s engineers were on-site to carry out the first installation. Before the end of the first week, they returned to finalise connectivity with IT infrastructure being put in place. The system was activated with a live dashboard 48 hours later.

During that week, Checkit received an additional request from the pharmacy team for further monitoring of medicines in five refrigerated units. The process of configuration, calibration, installation and connectivity was quickly underway. This second system was live within five days.

Critical inventory is protected

Phil Douglas, Operations Manager at Checkit, said: “Over a period of seven working days from initial request, two separate systems were installed and set live. We were working under very difficult conditions during lockdown, with both on-site and remote teams coordinating resources to overcome the significant restrictions and challenges of the circumstances. The fact that the project was completed so quickly, safely and effectively is a tribute to the flexibility shown by the whole team.”

Despite the conditions of the crisis, which depleted the Checkit workforce, the installation was completed while simultaneously finalising similar projects at four other existing hospital sites in need of automated monitoring solutions.

John Pitcher, Chair of the Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology, who has been coordinating storage facilities at the London site, paid tribute to Checkit’s rapid response.


I thank the team for their incredible contribution in extremely difficult circumstances. The project was completed quickly and will provide vital reassurance as we manage the healthcare demands of the coming weeks and months John Pitcher
Chair of the Association of Anatomical Pathology Technology

Checkit was also praised by Samantha Quaye, pharmacy technician at Barts Health NHS Trust, who praised the professionalism of the whole team.

Keith Daley, Executive Chairman of Checkit, said: “We have a long-standing relationship with the NHS, having installed technology at over 300 hospital sites in the UK. We didn’t think twice about offering our unconditional support to the field hospitals being established in record time to help the country cope with the scale of the Covid-19 crisis.

“Digital tools are proving to be an invaluable resource in enabling the courageous and dedicated NHS workforce to meet the demands being placed upon them.”