NHS Blood and Transplant has been training drivers for the Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) qualifications with Mercedes-Benz dealer Road Range.
The CPC scheme means that everyone who makes their living behind the steering wheel of a truck has to undergo at least 35 hours of formal training before the deadline in September.
The Speke-based Liverpool team comprises 25 drivers who use anything from estate cars to 7.5-tonne trucks to deliver blood and blood products to hospitals in Merseyside and North Wales up to twice a day. They also transport staff and equipment to blood donation sessions in public buildings around the region. Road Range is also providing training for staff based at Leeds, Newcastle and Sheffield.
Liverpool's transport logistics manager Phil Loy sees the required training as much more than just an exercise in box-ticking. “I spoke to at least five different providers before deciding to use Road Range,” he says. “They impressed me not only with the content of their programme, but also in the way they explained how they go about delivering both classroom and on-the-road sessions.
“Our drivers are all highly experienced and would not have expected to find themselves back in a classroom after years on the road. The Road Range training team of James Green and Dylan Yates make the process interesting, interactive and informative, and never talk down to them.
“Our staff quickly understand the point is not to tell them how to do their jobs, but to give them useful hints and tips on how to get the best efficiency from their vehicles, to use the modern technology to its best effect and to be even safer. The reaction to the training programme has been very positive.”
James Green, Road Range CPC driver training manager, added: “We sat down with the NHS Blood and Transplant team to discuss their requirements and came up with a tailored scheme to provide everything they need, and add genuine value to their operation.”