A Coventry company has taken just a week to devise, design and supply a new protective face visor for the NHS – with 10,000 units dispatched within seven days.
Kite Packaging used its team of 12 engineers to design concepts for the visor and a prototype was tested locally by medics last weekend to allow production to start as soon as possible (www.kitepackaging.co.uk
An initial batch will reach front line medical staff in the next few days and Kite Packaging is confident that it can manufacture 100,000 of the masks per week to be supplied directly to health trusts and organisations across the region and the UK to protect staff working on the frontline.
Gavin Ashe, managing partner of Kite, said: “Like many companies we wanted to help and realised that we had the capabilities in-house to design a face visor which would fit the requirements of the medics and workers who are on the frontline of the fight against coronavirus.
“Once our engineers had finalised the concept and we spoke to a range of companies in the industry, they have all responded magnificently.
“All of them realised the urgency of the requirement for protective ware and that we had the skills to turn around a product quickly.
“One of the suppliers is Staeger in Coventry while two of the others are based in the wider region.
“I know there is really good work going on across this area and that the tradition of design and engineering, which is so embedded in regional industry, is well suited to undertaking this sort of work.”
The visors are being supplied in kit form for the medical staff to put them together at the point of use which minimises packaging and speeds up distribution.
The visors feature a foam forehead pad which allows them to fit all head sizes, and they allow for a medical mask to be worn underneath.
They have so far been ordered by the George Eliot Hospital NHS Trust, University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust, Shropshire Healthcare Procurement Service (SHPS), Alliance Boots, Warwick Hospital (South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust), Guys and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust, North East London NHS Foundation Trust and Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.
Kite has previously worked with the Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub, and its managing director Craig Humphrey, said the speed of response underlined the engineering and manufacturing expertise of the area.
He said: “Kite and its suppliers have been superb in their desire to help, the speed of their response, technical expertise and also their level of co-operation.
“There are companies across our area responding in similar way and they all deserve massive credit.”