OPEX Mail Matrix enhances showcase hospital


Forward-thinking hospital employs innovative post handling and distribution solution

A vital aspect of the efficiency and performance of the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital is the fast and accurate handling and distribution of all postal material.

In keeping with the commissioning of Forth Valley as a modern, technologically-advanced hospital, Serco has procured and installed a futuristic computerised mail management system, the OPEX Mail Matrix.

This system utilises a high-quality image capture system and wireless communication with Intelligent Robotic Wireless Vehicles (IBOT) technology to determine and distribute any manner of hard copy envelopes and packages into large-volume delivery bins which integrate with some 280 pre-ordained receptacles in a single pass at the appropriate horizontal level. In dimension terms the Mail Matrix is compact and streamlined - 152.4cm in length, adding 114cm for each delilvery bin module - 363.2cm wide and 223.5cm high.

At ForthValley the configuration incorporates 28 of these automated helpers sorting on average 2,000 items an hour. This innovation embraces optical character recognition (OCR) and database software, encompassing the whole of the hospital’s personnel structure and related external locations.

The resident Serco IT manager, Gordon Reid, said: “ We are obliged to ensure that all mail arrives at interval locations within two hours. Given the very nature of this place, the quicker the item arrives then clearly the quicker the resolution of the situation for all concerned.

“The unit looks the part and it very much fits in with the modern and clean look of the area. We are able to operate a database of some 2,500 destinations, whether individual people, deaprtments, external health centres and other hospitals, which enables us to absolutely match our mission as the communication hub of the complete district.”

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Serco contract director, Mike Mackay, added: “ We aim to build long-term and mutually-beneficial relationships with all those with whom we have a business relationship – our customers, our strategic and joint venture partners and our suppliers. The new OPEX system does not mean any reduction in mailroom staffing levels. What we will be doing is giving people the opportunity to work in other mail related situations, such as moving medical records and other back office tasks giving staff much more flexibility during their working day.”