Hospital disinfectant specialist gives away 20,000 free bottles to NHS staff

PUBLISHED: 11:40 12 May 2020

Tristel Duo mini bottles, which have been given out free to NHS staff  Picture: BRUCE HEAD

Tristel Duo mini bottles, which have been given out free to NHS staff Picture: BRUCE HEAD

A specialist hospital disinfectant manufacturer is handing out gift versions of its product as a ‘thank you’ to NHS workers.

A delivery vehicle being loaded at Tristel's factory in Newarket  Picture: ESTHER JANSENA delivery vehicle being loaded at Tristel's factory in Newarket Picture: ESTHER JANSEN

Tristel, which is based at Snailwell, near Newmarket, has built up a global market for its various products, which are used on surfaces and medical instruments and are currently in high demand.

Its manufacturing has continued apace throughout the coronavirus lockdown, with some of its sales staff unable to carry out their work due to travel restrictions opting to help out on the shop floor to keep products flowing out to hospitals during the crisis.

MORE – Hospital disinfectant manufacturer sees ‘crazy rush’ for products amid coronavirus crisis

The fast-growing firm decided to offer smaller domestic-size versions of its Tristel Duo disinfectant foam for surfaces to infection control teams on a free trial basis to see how it works in different settings.

Staff have filled around 20,000 smaller bottles which were going spare with its proprietary chlorine dioxide product to go directly to NHS healthworkers. The formulation is designed to kill harmful microorganisms, including coronaviruses.

Paul Swinney, chief executive of Tristel  Picture: GREGG BROWNPaul Swinney, chief executive of Tristel Picture: GREGG BROWN

Tristel boss Paul Swinney said they wanted “to give healthcare workers their own disinfectant pack to use for their own purposes and as a gift for the individual that they could then take home”.

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About 20 Tristel staff were unable to come into work because of lockdown, he explained, and they had come on board with the idea of preparing the gifts in their spare time.

“We thought we would mobilise all our home workers around us and put together the packs and fill them on their kitchen tables.”

A taxi service the firm used had come on board to do the deliveries, and the packs of eight are sent out by Royal Mail to protection prevention teams.

The firm had been “really, really busy” during the crisis, said Mr Swinney.

“It’s a busy time for personal protection equipment (PPE) disinfectants all around the world, but fortunately we are managing to keep up with supply and it has been nice for us to rope in people at home who would like to be doing something.”

The £30m turnover company employs 100 of its 160 staff at its Newmarket headquarters, with manufacturing staff working flat-out during the crisis.

Normally its surface disinfectant makes up 10% of its output, with its medical instruments disinfectant making up the bulk of its output, but it has seen a “massive” rise in demand for the surface product during the coronavirus crisis.

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