It has been headline news over the last few weeks that there is a desperate shortage of PPE for frontline staff battling the coronavirus across the UK. So, many people have started taking matters into their own hands to help and we have recently been involved in supporting one such project.

A team of staff and volunteers from Salford Royal NHS Hospital have been working to create their own visors with donations from local businesses – including us! The prototype for the visor was created by Dr Glyn Smurthwaite, Consultant Anaesthetist and Dr Stuart Watson, Head of R&D Services in Medical Physics, who agreed the final design concept from home whilst in self-isolation. They set out with the initial aim of being able to provide every member of clinical staff with a visor to give them crucial protection whilst caring for patients.

Once the design was finalised, the staff set up their “own little production line” at the hospital and got to work assembling the first 500 visors. They have since scaled up the project to create the current total of an incredible 28,000 and counting. To make this first amount took 120,000 staples and several kilometres of elastic which we were able to donate. The visors will be distributed to staff across the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA), which brings together Salford Royal and Pennine Acute Hospitals Trust.

The visors are now being made by a team of 65 volunteers led by Dave Pike, a local firefighter and former NCA Lead Governor, supported by Tony Prescott from the Hamilton Davies Trust. The volunteers have the ability to make up to 3,000 visors a day and plan to keep it going for as long as they are needed.

Dave said: “It’s fantastic to see the community and local organisations pulling together to support our frontline NHS workers, helping to ensure they have this vital equipment which they so desperately need.”

The Critical Care Unit is one of many frontline areas that have been supplied with the visors. Dr Chris Booth, Intensive Care Consultant, said: “This is a brilliant innovation to help with our PPE. The visors give us full face protection during the most hazardous procedures on ICU and ensure our staff are safe during these uncertain times.”


All images courtesy of Dave Pike via Facebook.