The Impact of COVID-19: A Case Study from Abbott
As a global health technology company, Abbott’s goal has been to improve people’s health - at all ages and stages of life - for more than 130 years. In recent months, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the world as we know it. It has meant the mobilisation of a tremendous national effort against the virus in the UK in all walks of life. Abbott has supported the NHS in a number of key ways:
- As a leader in diagnostics, Abbott mobilised its decades of expertise to develop, manufacture and deliver both PCR and serology (antibody) tests to the UK to support the COVID testing programme partnership with NHS laboratories. We pay tribute to the scientists who have produced both our own and other high quality innovative COVID tests in such record time and those working on vaccines and other treatments to lessen the impact of the virus.
- Provided the NHS Nightingale hospitals with point of care blood gas analyser diagnostic devices as part of contingency preparations for COVID ICU patients.
- Continued to supply and support the thousands of NHS homecare patients requiring home enteral tube feeding, as well as patients prescribed Abbott’s nutritional products from their chemist. Our warehouse and homecare support staff have maintained deliveries to these patients, while our national team of nurses has continued to train patients pre-discharge from hospital, carry out home visits and undertake video consultations. Abbott has ensured continuity of supply in hospitals as well, meeting the increased demand for enteral feeding pumps of seriously ill patients on ventilators and ensured that they are able to survive prolonged periods on the ICU.
All of this has meant a different way of working and engaging with the Government, NHS and patients. During the lockdown, our UK employees have continued to keep manufacturing diabetes products and diagnostics reagents, as well as helping to keep NHS laboratories running smoothly. As we look to support the return to more normal society and routine NHS operation, the importance of early diagnosis of any condition, remote monitoring and keeping patients from needing to visit hospitals is now even greater. The impetus to using healthcare innovations in the fight against coronavirus has been paramount and I hope we can harness new technologies with the same urgency to help the NHS resume elective care, reduce its waiting lists and continue to implement the Long-Term Plan.
Neil Harris, General Manager, Abbott & ABHI Board Member