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Urgent plea for businesses to help with production of PPE to aid coroanvirus fight

PUBLISHED: 12:44 08 April 2020 | UPDATED: 12:44 08 April 2020

Cleaner Leanne Manning in protective clothing at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn  Picture: QEH

Cleaner Leanne Manning in protective clothing at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn Picture: QEH

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The team leading the county’s coronavirus response has urged businesses to help it secure supplies of protective equipment for frontline workers.

Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. Photo: Angela Sharpe PhotographyChris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership. Photo: Angela Sharpe Photography

The Norfolk Resilience Forum has launched the appeal for personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in vital services, either through spare stock or the creation of new lines.

A bulk delivery of PPE has been received from the government, but the forum, made up of councils, MPs and organisations across Norfolk, hopes to ensure enough of the right PPE for a “sustained period”.

They said masks, disposable gloves, aprons, eye goggles, overshoes and hand sanitising gel would be welcome for frontline staff who are caring for the county’s most vulnerable people.

A paramedic wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)outside St Thomas' Hospital in Westminster, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.A paramedic wearing personal protective equipment (PPE)outside St Thomas' Hospital in Westminster, London, as the UK continues in lockdown to help curb the spread of the coronavirus.

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Trevor Holden, head of the tactical coordination group which is overseeing the delivery of the multi-agency response across Norfolk, said: “The government has supplied a significant amount of PPE in recent days. While we welcome this, we must also take local action to ensure we continue to have stocks to cover the wide range of front line staff that require it to keep our essential services running in these unprecedented times.

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“PPE comes in a variety of types, for different uses, so we would ask that any business that has PPE that it would like to offer to contact New Anglia LEP on the details below.”

A number of firms have already come forward with PPE, or with the offer of using their facilities and staff to produce more.

Staff and pupils at Hethersett Academy have been producing protective equipment including visors and boilable bags for NHS staff. Picture: Inspiration TrustStaff and pupils at Hethersett Academy have been producing protective equipment including visors and boilable bags for NHS staff. Picture: Inspiration Trust

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Technicians at the University of East Anglia have been making up to 170 litres of hand sanitiser a day, and Norwich-based gin distillery Bullards is also producing sanitising gel.

Loddon engineering company Panel Graphic has recently started using its production line, which usually produces display enhancement windows, to make face visors for front line workers, while schools and other businesses have rallied to support workers.

Chris Starkie, chief executive of New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership, said it had been great to see the business community pull together, and said the partnership’s Growth Hub was offering free business support, including information about the new government grants and schemes and advice on how to produce PPE.

If your business can help, please complete the simple contact form at https://newanglia.co.uk/data-capture-for-ppe-supply-during-covid/

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