A fleet of 500 Renault Master vans has been specially converted into mobile testing units (MTU) to help the NHS Test and Trace programme across the UK.
The vehicles were ordered by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) via the Crown Commercial Services, the Master vans were adapted through TGS vehicle conversions and then managed through LeasePlan UK.
Vincent Tourette, managing director of Renault UK, said: “We are exceptionally pleased that the Renault Master is playing a part in helping the DHSC to continue its invaluable work in controlling the spread of COVID and further enhance the size of what is the largest network of diagnostic testing facilities in British history.
“Being able to provide such a substantial number of base vehicles in such a short time frame presented a significant challenge, but it’s something that we and our factory were proud to overcome. It’s very rewarding to see the Renault Master MTUs in service on the frontline and contributing to the UK’s fight against COVID.”
The new vehicles have allowed the DHSC to double its existing fleet of mobile testing units. Each van has the space for up to 1,000 test kits – significantly more than the 500 kits carried by the original van.
Despite a large design change requiring sliding doors on either side of the van, all 500 conversions were completed by the end of March at a rate of up to 60 per week. The purpose-built vehicles contain comfortable and safe testing conditions, with twin awnings fitted to allow for drive-through testing. A generator provides extra power and there is all manner of electrical access points too.
The vehicle order also included technical training for all those who will be operating the mobile testing unit, as well as Covid-safe handling procedures for the handover and collection of the vehicles. A dedicated hotline for MTU service providers has also been set up.