The UK’s PPE Shortage with the Covid-19 Pandemic
You will undoubtedly have heard in the media that our brave frontline workers are short of PPE, vital equipment that keeps them safe whilst they fight covid-19 and all the effects it’s having on the people in our country.
It is essential we keep these people safe. Not only do they deserve to be looked after, but unless we keep them safe and protected we will soon find we have a shortage of them as well, as they take time off to recover from this illness.
Like many others, I have found myself with free time after being furloughed from work. It didn’t take me long to hear the NHS and other services are under a great deal of pressure and short on PPE.
3D Printing Faceshields for NHS staff and other frontline workers
My face shield project began with an item I made I’ve called a “save grabber”. A simple, small 3D printed gizmo that allows people to press buttons, open doors, lock, unlock and turn doorknobs without having to physically use their hands and fingers.
I offered these free of charge in my local Covid-19 Mutual Aid group so people could try and have some peace of mind. I had given away nearly 70 before I was contacted by a lady who runs a neonatal transport unit called Night Owls. They requested some for their drivers and it didn’t take long to understand the desperate need for PPE, especially face shields.
I posted a message in the local group offering the shields free of charge to key workers and anyone who may need one to work.
Scaling the demand through donation & support
I have since distributed a large amount of face shields and more requests are coming in daily, but I can’t match demand due to persistently running short on supplies – mostly printing filament and elastic.
Luckily many people have donated materials to keep me going but it’s proving harder every day.
I have a team of volunteer printers and we have been working non-stop since the 21st March, and thankfully more and more people are volunteering their time and skills to help me.
I desperately want to keep our frontline workers safe, and I need help to do that.
Any money raised will be used to:
- Purchase filament to make the shield frames and supports.
- Purchase elastic and acetate panels for the visors.
- Purchase sterile wipes.
The continual and increasing support & fundraising
If enough money is raised to cover these vital elements, I am desperate to purchase more 3D printers in order to increase the amount I can produce and therefore the amount of people I can help.
Equally, if you have access to a 3D printer and can help, all files are prepared for download and templates can be sent to you.
We handle everything using using mask and gloves and include sterile wipes with each mask (finances allowing). I even shaved my beautiful beard off! To ensure sterility and the perfect fit.