NMITE rallies resources to support COVID-19 response

New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE) has converted its administration offices at Gardner Hall, Hereford into a makeshift factory producing vitally needed PPE items for both NHS acute hospitals and local care homes. Operated 24/7 by NMITE staff, the factory has so far manufactured over 500 and delivered over 300 headshields - 3D printed forehead bands with see-through Acetate visors - to front line health care workers at Hereford County Hospital, local GP surgeries, Hampton House nursing home, and Wye Valley NHS Trust’s community palliative care team, among others.

On Friday, 10 April 2020 the design and durability of the headshields manufactured by NMITE was approved by clinicians at the NHS Midlands and Lancashire Commissioning Support Unit. The NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire CCG subsequently ordered 1,000 headshields, each with five disposable visors, to distribute to regional care homes. A team within NMITE is currently working flat out to fulfil this.

In addition to manufacturing headshields, NMITE is focussing on collating and distributing masks, gloves and aprons for rapid dispatch to health care locations in need. NMITE is appealing to all local businesses who currently hold stocks of these in-demand items and asks them to visit www.nmite.ac.uk/partnership-support/support-during-covid-19 for a list of required materials and contact details to arrange donations.

Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon, President and CEO of NMITE comments on them making resources available and responding directly to the shortages in PPE: “All the news has been about the need to supply PPE to front line health care workers, and we are responding by harnessing the capabilities of our team to deliver new engineering solutions to increase production and delivery targets and working closely with clinicians, senior NHS directors and our partners including the local further education college and schools to pool resources such as 3D printers.”

Beyond the factory and related logistics operations, NMITE accommodation at Gardner Hall and Miller Court is being prepared to be available use by NHS and Herefordshire Council key workers as the demand on healthcare services and “lockdown” appear set to continue.

NMITE is able to support the NHS and other key workers in the community thanks to the local businesses and members of the public who are already making material donations.

If you would like to donate, please visit our webpage for details on how you can help www.nmite.ac.uk/partnership-support/support-during-covid-19.