East London Volunteers Plug Scrubs Shortage for Local NHS Staff

Dr Katie Ward, wearing her scrubs made by volunteers. Pic credit: Dr Katie Ward
Bundles of fabric and pattern ready to be picked up by volunteers. Pic Credit: Brooke Dennis

Local volunteers in East London have come together to produce medical uniforms for local NHS staff due to a serious shortage.

Following a request from a local doctor in need of scrubs, a team of four neighbours in the charity and fashion sector in East London, have organised a small-scale production line for scrubs with local volunteers, that obeys social distancing rules.

It has emerged that there is a serious shortage of scrubs – special hygienic clothing – for NHS staff amidst the coronavirus crisis. Doctors were asked to purchase their own scrubs but suppliers have run out of the medical uniforms. Without scrubs, doctors must wear their own clothing under protective equipment and risk bringing the infection home.

The local volunteers are working to help meet a shortage of scrubs for NHS staff living and working in East London, and are assisting volunteers from across the country in setting up their own local “scrub hubs”. In the past few days seven hubs have been set up across the UK.

The Hackney Wick volunteer group said:

“We are truly grateful for the opportunity to put our skills in to use and support NHS staff on the frontline, who are working 24/7 to keep us all safe.

“We have been overwhelmed by the sheer number of people who heeded our call from all across the UK, and it’s been heart-warming to see many now setting up their own, local scrub hubs.

“It is intolerable that brave NHS staff who are on the frontline in the fight against the coronavirus are lacking such basic equipment such as scrubs. That’s why we are doing the best we can to help plug the gap in the short term.

“We hope this scrubs shortage will be addressed and solved as quickly as possible and that NHS staff will be provided will all the tools and equipment they need to do their work.”


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