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Call for joint effort

Scottish firms urged to join PPE ‘battle’ to help NHS

Tracy Black

Tracy Black: calling on anyone who thinks they could play a part (pic: Terry Murden)

Businesses in Scotland have been urged to join the ‘battle’ to produce protective equipment for the NHS and front-line workers.

The government is looking at ‘all options’ to increase the manufacture of protective equipment such as aprons, gowns, face masks and hand sanitisers, including the potential re-opening of furloughed factories as part of the collective national effort.

The CBI is now urging firms with the appropriate skills or expertise to get involved, as well as those who have skills that could be useful for the fight, including suppliers, lawyers, logistics and others.

The lobby group has organised a webinar for companies to find out more and CBI Scotland director Tracy Black has urged all those interested to sign-up.

To coordinate this and make a collective action plan to respond to this challenge a business call has been arranged at 11:30am next Wednesday (15 April). Registration is through the CBI website.

In the past few weeks the NHS supply chain has delivered 397 million pieces of PPE equipment including, masks, surgical masks and other PPE equipment to NHS trusts and 58,000 healthcare settings including GPs, pharmacies and community providers. But more is needed.

The equipment challenge is not just targeted at the critical NHS and social care front line but will support sectors, such as food and drink, deliveries, logistics and the manufacturing sector.

Key workers are the fifth emergency service in times like these.

– Tracy Black, CBI

Ms Black said: “Protecting NHS and social care staff on the frontline is vitally important. But it’s not just them, from people carrying out essential work in food manufacture or Post Offices and delivery drivers, key workers need protective gear and we are committed to helping to secure it for them.

“These people are the fifth emergency service in times like these. I believe that businesses and firms in Scotland could play a key role and I’m calling on anyone who thinks they could play a part, even a small part, to sign up to the webinar and see if you can.

“We are in a battle and many businesses who can are stepping up to the plate.”

Further details about the protective equipment webinar can be found here: 

https://www.cbi.org.uk/events/solving-the-ppe-challenge-bringing-business-together/

Who’s supporting the NHS?

CALA: The housebuilder delivered clinical-standard equipment including masks and goggles to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital. Glasgow, to help protect staff treating patients with coronavirus.

Angus Murray, construction director, CALA Homes (West), said: “Donating PPE equipment to our hard-working NHS staff who are risking their own lives to save lives is the least we could do.

“It is a privilege to help and we hope our contribution can make a difference to our frontline NHS workers.”

Edinburgh Shield Force: a group of engineers and academics and other volunteers, are producing face shields for NHS workers at Edinburgh Hacklab, a not-for-profit shared spaces company based at Summerhall in Edinburgh.

A crowdfund campaign has raised more than £14,600. Donations can made here Edinburgh Shield Force

JLL: the commercial property agency is connecting NHS, charity and community needs with clients who have available space or resources from accommodation and warehouses to parking and personal protective equipment (PPE).  

Censo Biotechnologies: a specialist biotech company is working with NHS Scotland to provide testing for a minimum of 15,000 samples per month for COVID-19.

The first Scottish company to work with the NHS offering direct testing support for COVID-19, Edinburgh based, Censo Bio has offered the use of its team and laboratory at Roslin, equipped with 7 PCR machines. Each machine is capable of running 600 samples.

Diageo, William Grant, Oro Gin and BrewDog are among the companies producing hand sanitiser.

Babcock International Group is leading on the design and production of 10,000 ventilators for the NHS in response to the UK Government’s request for help from industry.  

As well as working on a brand new prototype, a team of Babcock engineers and specialists has set up a supply chain solution from scratch. The team has worked night and day to set up the supply chain, and has enlisted a number of manufacturers to help with the assembly and production.

As part of this effort, Plexus, which is also leading other ventilator programmes, and Raytheon UK, will be supporting the production of ventilators from their Kelso, Livingston and Glenrothes manufacturing facilities.

Online travel accessories firm Trtl has donated £250,000 worth of compression socks to nurses across the UK.

Glasgow Royal Infirmary, the city’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley and the Royal Edinburgh Hospital have each received 1000 pairs.

Ninewells Hospital in Dundee and Aberdeen Royal Infirmary have both been given 500 pairs.

Ten Hill Place, a hotel owned by The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, has provided 1,000 nights of free rooms and meals to more than 200 key workers since 27 March.




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