New PPE manufacturing business will be based in Cramlington
April 23, 2020
Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust, in partnership with other NHS organisations, has revealed plans to open a manufacturing facility to produce protective gowns and other personal protective equipment (PPE) for front-line health and care staff tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
The move is part of a range of unique partnerships between the trust, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, other NHS partners, local businesses and organisations to boost supplies of gowns for the trust’s front-line teams but also across the north east and beyond.
Over the past few weeks, from what started off as a few phone calls asking for support, a whole network has grown. Now more than a dozen businesses and organisations – large and small – are stitching together to boost supplies of gowns.
This network includes a partnership with Northumbria University’s School of Design which is now producing protective gowns and scrubs for front-line teams from its premises.
The new manufacturing facility will be based at premises, leased from Wingrove Motor Company, in Cramlington. The building is now undergoing a major transformation with machinery and equipment, purchased by the trust, being installed in the next few days. This will enable the manufacture of potentially 7,500 protective gowns a week from the new facility alone.
Thirty experienced machinists will be working in the facility, some of which will staff redeployed from other areas within the trust. It is hoped the facility will officially open its production line in the next week.
The gowns will be made available to staff in the region and, as production increases, stocks will be shared more widely across England.