NMITE rallies engineering & logisitics resources to support COVID-19 PPE response

21 April 2020


New Model Institute for Technology & Engineering (NMITE) has converted its administration offices at Gardner Hall, Hereford into a makeshift factory producing vitally needed PPE items for both NHS acute hospitals & local care homes.

Operated 24/7 by NMITE staff, the makeshift factory has so far manufactured over 500 (and delivered over 300) headshields – 3D-printed forehead bands with see-through acetate visors – to frontline healthcare workers at Hereford County Hospital, local GP surgeries, Hampton House nursing home and Wye Valley NHS Trust’s community palliative care team, among others.

On Friday, 10th April 2020, the design and durability of the headshields manufactured by NMITE was approved by clinicians at the NHS Midlands & Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit. The NHS Herefordshire & Worcestershire CCG subsequently ordered 1,000 headshields, each with five disposable visors, to distribute to regional care homes. A team within NMITE is currently working flat out to fulfil this.

In addition to manufacturing headshields, NMITE is focusing on collating and distributing masks, gloves and aprons for rapid dispatch to healthcare locations in need. NMITE is appealing to all local businesses who currently hold stocks of these in-demand items and asks them to visit www.nmite.ac.uk/partnership-support/support-during-covid-19 for a list of required materials and contact details to arrange donations.

Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, President & CEO of NMITE comments on them making resources available and responding directly to the shortages in PPE: “All the news has been about the need to supply PPE to frontline healthcare workers, and we are responding by harnessing the capabilities of our team to deliver new engineering solutions to increase production and delivery targets, and working closely with clinicians, senior NHS directors and our partners, including the local further education college and schools, to pool resources, such as 3D printers.

Beyond the factory and related logistics operations, NMITE accommodation at Gardner Hall and Miller Court is being prepared to be available to use by NHS and Herefordshire Council key workers, as the demand on healthcare services and 'lockdown' appear set to continue.

NMITE is able to support the NHS and other key workers in the community thanks to the local businesses and members of the public who are already making material donations. If you would like to donate, please visit our web page for details on how you can help: www.nmite.ac.uk/partnership-support/support-during-covid-19

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