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The Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) has announced that millions more visors, aprons and gowns will be delivered to frontline health and social care workers treating coronavirus patients.

This announcement comes as part of the UK Government’s drive to significantly boost production of personal protective equipment (PPE) within the UK. Alongside the deals already made with UK suppliers to manufacture over two billion items of PPE, the Government has also struck four new partnerships to rapidly produce and deliver PPE to frontline workers over the coming months.

This forms part of the UK Government’s Make initiative to use the production power of the UK’s manufacturing sector and ramp up domestic manufacturing capabilities.

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The four new companies that will be delivering new PPE items are:

  • Photocentric, which is using an innovative 3D printing method to produce visors in large quantities. It will be supplying over 7.6 million protective visors over the next six months, with plans to scale up to making 500,000 visors a day if required
  • Ramfoam will be manufacturing and delivering three million visors to the NHS per week. It is recruiting an additional 100 staff to ensure demand is met, scaling up to more than 160
  • Elite Plastics, which has adapted its production lines to produce large volumes of aprons. Starting this week, 20 million will be delivered to the NHS and social care sector per month
  • Macdonald and Taylor Healthcare, which has scaled up production of isolation gowns and scrubs, so far delivering 40,000 gowns a week for the last two months. It will now be providing an additional 50,000 gowns a week with government fabric for the next six months

Lord Paul Deighton, Adviser to the Health Secretary on PPE, said: “The response from our manufacturing industry has been phenomenal and I can’t thank them enough for their continued efforts. Every health and care worker must have access to appropriate PPE and through this national effort we will ensure they do.

“We have already struck deals with around 30 UK companies to manufacture PPE and over 100 suppliers to deliver items at scale and pace. We will continue to identify further opportunities to get more PPE to the frontline rapidly.”

The UK Government has delivered over 1.65 billion pieces of PPE to the frontline and deals have already been struck with around 30 companies, including Amazon, Royal Mail and Jaguar Land Rover, through the Make initiative to produce much-needed PPE.

It is also working with over 100 new suppliers to deliver at the scale and pace the UK requires.

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