Urgent call for personal protective equipment (PPE) from the wellness and beauty sector

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Do you, or does someone you know, have surgical masks, non-latex gloves, antiseptic wipes/spray or other PPE equipment that could help protect our health professionals during the coronavirus pandemic?

If so, you may be able to help Med Supply Drive UK, an organisation that is coordinating a nationwide effort to collect unused PPE from non-healthcare settings in order to distribute the equipment to frontline NHS staff.

Liz Badger, founder of Face The World and organiser of National Awareness Day and Pro-Touch Month, is one of 160 volunteers supporting Med Supply Drive UK. Liz said, ‘Within the first seven days of the organisation forming, over 9,000 piece of equipment – including masks, gloves, visors and medical gowns – were redirected to NHS staff. The equipment is being sourced from industries and businesses who have equipment that they don’t currently need, including research labs, engineering departments, construction companies, the beauty and wellness industry, art industry (including TV and film production) and electronics/ machinery manufacturers.’

‘In the short amount of time it has been operational, Med Supply Drive UK has been inundated with requests from healthcare workers, desperately seeking PPE. Currently it has more than 200 requests on its database, and only half the amount of donations pledged to cover these requests.’

The requests for PPE received by Med Supply Drive UK are largely from GP surgeries (54%), community healthcare settings (such as care home and hospices, 28%) and hospitals (18%) who do not have enough PPE, have run out of PPE and are waiting for further supplies, or are unlikely to receive a supply chain from the NHS. Liz and her co-volunteers are currently seeking the following equipment:

  • Antiseptic wipes/spray and hand sanitisers
  • Non-latex gloves
  • Surgical masks, FFP2 (N95) masks and FFP3 masks
  • Face shields, visors and goggles
  • Medical scrubs
  • Medical/surgical gowns and disposable overalls
  • Tyvek/hazmat/bodysuits and specialised PAPR respirator hood gear.

They are also requesting A4 acetate sheets, which can be used to construct face-shields. Working with the National 3D Printing Society, Med Supply Drive UK have managed to manufacture and send out 300 face shields to date.

Screen Shot 2020-04-14 at 15.48.11Dr Jasmine Ho, who founded the organisation, said, ‘Every frontline NHS staff member has a basic right to have adequate protection in their workplace during this COVID-19 crisis. With all those unused and redundant PPE lying around in the community, what better place for them to be now than in the hands of our frontline staff in desperate need for it?’

Visit Med Supply Drive UK for more information, to donate PPE or volunteer.

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