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Wolverhampton hospital trust makes 250,000 visors

By Thomas Parkes | Wolverhampton | Coronavirus | Published:

A hospital trust has celebrated after producing 250,000 visors to protect frontline staff.

The visor production staff who have worked the most shifts celebrating the 250,000th visor made

Staff at The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust started production on April 10 amid struggles to source personal protective equipment (PPE).

It has led them to produce 250,000 visors – having smashed through targets of making 500 a day to construct an average of 5,500.

Mel Riley, the head of visor production, was redeployed for the effort from her role as an orthoptist at New Cross Hospital.

She said: “I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the staff who have taken part. They have been amazing and are truly a credit to their departments and this trust.

“They have taken what was a worrying time for everyone and turned it into a positive experience. They have demonstrated how a fantastic team can be formed from scratch, from different backgrounds and experience.

“We formed what I would describe as a visor team family. The team vibe and positivity has been inspirational. I have made many friends – like we all have – and we will all keep in touch.”

'Outstanding'

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The trust used their on-site Maxillofacial Laboratory – which normally makes facial implants for cancer patients – to produce a design, with clinical procurement sourcing the items.

The library at the Wolverhampton Medical Institute at New Cross Hospital became a makeshift production line, with 104 staff from 29 different departments across the three hospital sites – New Cross, West Park and Cannock Chase – making the visors.

And it led them on June 3 to make 7,229 in a 10-hour shift and 4,034 in a five-hour shift – a record for the trust.

Gail Smart, a healthcare assistant from the emergency department, made the final visor after she worked the most shifts – 51 out of 96 available.

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The PPE drive has seen 500,000 rivets, 250,000 pieces of acetate, 250,000 foam strips and 87,500 metres of elastic – more than 54 miles – all used.

With stocks now high and more sources of visors available nationwide, the trust took the decision to stop production and all staff will now return to their previous roles.

David Loughton, chief executive of the trust, said: “Mel and her team have done a truly outstanding job at a time of intense demand to keep staff safe.”

Thomas Parkes

By Thomas Parkes
Senior Reporter - @TParkes_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star, based in Wolverhampton. Got a story? Get in touch at thomas.parkes@expressandstar.co.uk.

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