Covid-19 Test Kits Priority Postbox later Saturday & Sunday Collections

Dear Colleague

Covid-19 Test Kits Priority Postbox later Saturday & Sunday Collections

You will all be aware of the excellent work that has been undertaken by representatives and members in relation to supporting the Covid-19 Testing Kit initiatives.

The Government have now asked Royal Mail to scope its ability to collect from 12k priority boxes later than the current box plate time on a Saturday and also on a Sunday. The aim of this is to provide home test kits recipients with the facility to post test kit returns over the weekend later in the day than the current box plate times indicate and also on a Sunday.

RM analysis has shown that of the current 34k Priority Boxes identified for this NHS Self-Test service, 84% have a plate clearance time of 12pm or earlier, with 38% of boxes collected 11am or earlier. However, actual clearance times (not plate time) show 84% of boxes are cleared after 11am and 56% after 12pm, with most Saturday collections operating out of Hubs. Therefore, the scoping exercise which has been undertaken is to establish whether there is the opportunity to move the collection time for all boxes to 3pm, within existing Distribution and Processing operational constraints.

As part of the scoping exercise the following key principles are being applied to the 12k Priority Boxes that have been identified and managers have been tasked with detailing the following:

• Collections performed from ALL 37 MCs covering Delivery Office catchment areas up to 20 mile area radius from the MC, except SG (HCN) & CV (S Mids) up to 30 miles and CB (Peterborough) up to 45 miles

• The proposal should ensure the number of routes required to provide a 15:00hrs collection time or later are able to return back to the collection hub in time to meet the MC LAT c17:30hrs. The MC LAT will vary from unit to unit

• If a Plant is not a Sat 1c outward processing/despatching office and the later proposed clearance times mean the test kit collections will arrive after the plant despatch to a consolidation MC, consideration should be given to running a later discrete service to the consolidation MC

• All contents of the post box are to be cleared and subsequently processed in the receiving Plants

• Current MC 1c LAT and 1c Final MC Despatch times are to be maintained

The business is also planning to issue communications including WTLL briefs in the near future to ascertain if they would be able to provide sufficient internal resource to accommodate a later timed Saturday and Sunday collection. Individuals will be invited to register their interest on a non-binding basis. Although this service is subject to future contract agreement from Government agencies, once commenced it is expected to remain in place until January.