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Businesses answer call to produce 1,400 face visors for hospital staff

PUBLISHED: 17:13 15 April 2020 | UPDATED: 18:00 15 April 2020

Collection of 3D face shields in UEA's New Science Building laboratory. Picture: UEA

Collection of 3D face shields in UEA's New Science Building laboratory. Picture: UEA

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Hundreds of NHS workers will be better protected after more than a thousand face shields were produced with the help of 20 local businesses to deliver to Norfolk’s three major hospitals.

3D printed face shield parts provided by Haas. Picture: UEA3D printed face shield parts provided by Haas. Picture: UEA

The University of East Anglia has led a project involving a team of local businesses and individuals by creating face visors to provide personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers.

The university has been supported by 20 external organisations, ranging from prominent businesses in the region, local branches of major national and international companies, and small independent businesses in the county.

The businesses who have supported the efforts, include, Altair Astro UK; Birds of Dereham; Bosch (Suffolk); CF Tech; Copyshop (Great Yarmouth); Haas; Hexatomic; John Mayes Engineering Ltd; Knit Wit; Littlewood Lodge; Norwich Research Park; Norwich Print Solutions; Norwich University of the Arts; Paper Story; Perdix Design Ltd; Pixel Spark; S-Can; SyncNorwich; Waitrose (Eaton); Yare Valley Technical Services.

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Through their efforts, enough 3D printer parts, clear plastic and elasticated bands have been collected to produced 1,400 face shields for the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, James Paget University Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The university has received over 700 responses to its call and continues to aim to distribute around 200 of the finished products every day to NNUH, who then in turn deliver them to JPH and QEH.

With the quality of some PPE being shared nationally also coming under question, UEA says it is ensuring all visors meet the NHS-approved designs. The team are also following 72-hour quarantine periods for the raw materials and visors throughout the assembly process.

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Dr Mahmoud Abdelhamid, lecturer in chemical biology at UEA, said: “This has truly been a collaborative effort and I’d like to thank every single one of the organisations that have assisted us in this project, as well as the UEA staff responsible for assembling the face shields. Without any one of you we simply would not have been able to have produced these shields in the quantities we have managed so far.

Read more: Coronavirus recovery numbers above 200 at Norfolk hospitals as N&N send 93 patients home

“We’re trying to do everything we can to assist our colleagues in the NHS during this difficult time and, with the continued help of local organisations, we’re hoping to produce plenty more. However, the supply of materials at our disposal is not exhaustive so if you are able to help us with this in any way then please get in touch.”

Any organisations who may be able to assist with supplies for the visor project should contact business@uea.ac.uk.


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