Boots has recruited new delivery drivers to meet an increase in demand for prescription medicine deliveries as a result of the coronavirus.

The pharmaceutical chain said it had hired 500 additional delivery drivers across the UK and has introduced prescription delivery to another 40 of its stores to meet the increased demand for the service because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Boots said a month ago it delivered an average of 90,000 prescriptions a week, which has increased to an estimated 150,000 as of last week.

The new drivers will join the retailer’s pharmacy delivery and collection team and will complement the 400 new delivery vehicles the group has added to its delivery fleet.

The retailer said over the last six months it had recruited an average of one new delivery driver per day but recruited 80 a day on average throughout March, many of whom had lost their jobs due to coronavirus.

Boots UK and Ireland HR director Nathan Clements said: “As an essential public service, Boots has a special role and duty to support the NHS in any way we can. I’d like to thank all our colleagues, particularly those who have recently joined us − not only as drivers, but also in our warehouses and pharmacies, and our partners, who are stepping forward onto the front line to help care for patients across the UK.”