At Sterling Pharma Solutions Ltd, the safety of our people and of our customers/suppliers is our top priority. Given the nature of our business we also recognise that we must do all that we can to minimise disruption to the supply chain of pharmaceutical products. I have written this statement to outline our response to the Coronavirus situation and reassure our stakeholders that Sterling will do all we can to minimise any impact to our own operations and your business.
Given the nature of operations within Sterling Pharma Solutions we already have a robust and proven business continuity plan. The Sterling management team and I have reviewed this and have put in place additional contingencies to add further robustness.
At the top level we have formed a COVID-19 response team. This team is led by myself and is made up of operations, HR and Health/ Safety personnel. Currently the team and I meet on a daily basis.
Our response has focused on three main areas;
- Reducing risk to our people through the undertaking of business related travel.
- Reducing risk to on-going operations at our facilities.
- Understanding and minimising the risk to the supply of our products due to raw material and commodity shortages.
Please note: the basis for all actions Sterling has taken has been the UK Foreign Office guidance and the UK Department for Health.
For each area there are specific actions:
Reducing risk to our people through the undertaking of business related travel
Sterling has enacted a policy whereby no business related travel (national or international) is permitted. Any exceptional request for travel will need to be approved by me.
Any employee returning from a country outlined on the UK Department of health list of impacted countries will be asked to self-isolate for 14-days in accordance with UK guidelines
All employees have been advised to follow UK foreign office guidance with respect to holiday travel.
Reducing risk to on-going operations at our facilities
Sterling has introduced measures to manage and minimise risk to on-going operations. These include:
- Asking any employee to self-isolate should they have travelled to a country on the UK department of health website or have come into contact with someone who has tested positive for Coronavirus.
- Reviewing and approving our main contractor(s) risk assessments to satisfy ourselves that they are managing the risk to our site operations.
- Placing additional hand sanitiser dispensers and alcohol gel dispensers at key locations around the site and increasing our guidance and advice around hand washing
- Preventing any visit from customers or suppliers until further noticed. This policy will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
- Implementing a risk assessed method for handling deliveries where the driver has confirmed that they have travelled through Europe in the last 14-days.
Understand and minimising the risk to the supply of our products due to raw material and commodity shortages.
In support of our operations Sterling sources a wide range of materials from locations around the world. A key supplier of raw materials is China and we have noted some disruption to scheduled deliveries. Where possible we have relied on stocks of materials and/or sourcing from alternative suppliers. We continue to review our supply chain to determine impacts to scheduled manufacturing runs. This review is currently being undertaken on a weekly basis.
Where there is an impact, Sterling commit to proactively elevating any issues and working with you to find a solution which minimises disruption to your operations.
Furthermore, Sterling has undertaken a scenario planning exercise based on the UK Government estimate that up to 20% of the workforce could be impacted by this virus. This activity has focused on assessing how operations would be impacted should our teams be impacted to this extent. Based on this exercise we believe there is sufficient redundancy within our operations to keep disruption to supply to an absolute minimum.
I trust that this notification reassures you that we are doing all that we can to manage this unprecedented global pandemic. Should you need any further information please do not hesitate to reach out to your routine contact at Sterling.