Sheffield orthotic manufacturer makes face visors to protect frontline NHS staff against COVID-19

An award-winning Sheffield manufacturer has started making thousands of face visors to help protect frontline NHS staff against COVID-19.

Blatchford, who usually make orthotic and prosthetic devices, are using their highly skilled technicians, supply chain and facilities to help with the COVID-19 response.

The idea began as a way of protecting the orthotic, special seating and prosthetic clinicians – who are in very close contact with patients as they assess and treat them – from the virus.

The company say however, it soon became clear that other clinical areas were in need of PPE and were only too happy to help with requests, even from NHS trusts they don’t currently work with.

Since production started last week, Blatchford have manufactured and delivered over 1000 visors across nine different NHS trusts with hundreds more in progress. They have also secured the supply chain which will enable them to manufacture thousands more in the coming weeks.

Nigel Birkett, Operations Manager for Blatchford, said: “We wanted to help in the fight against COVID-19 and thought the best way we could do this is use our materials and expertise to make protective face visors for NHS staff. So far we have made offers of the masks to all the NHS trusts that we currently provide clinical support to and offered support to any other trusts that have reached out to us.”

The company is also helping the frontline by producing and delivering Orthotics, Prosthetics and specialist seating systems to help to clear beds in hospitals that will then be used to help with the care of patients affected with coronavirus.

The face visors are being made from acetate plastic for the shield, evazote for the forehead padding and elasticated Velcro for the strapping.

Nigel added:What has been incredible is the response from the Blatchford team. Many people have volunteered to work extra unpaid hours in the week and over the bank holiday weekend to help keep up with demand. We will continue to make face visors whilst ever we have requests to support all those putting themselves at risk. It is our way of saying thank you to all the amazing NHS staff.”


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