Early in April we started talking about how the Coronavirus was affecting all of us and what, if anything we could do to help. It was clear that the lack of PPE for the NHS was big on the agenda but there was a wider issue of how the nation, as a whole, was going to be able to protect itself from itself. We realised that this was going to be more important than many people realised. Protection against the virus is really important for many public services, of which the NHS are just one. It is critical and the equipment to provide this already exists, albeit in short supply. However, this is very specialised equipment and is subject to stringent standards and controls.
If we are to make a difference as quickly as possible, we decided we needed to look at products that are not subject to healthcare standards (so don’t need qualification and approvals testing) and we can supply using the technilogy we already have.
Recent recommendations for controlling the virus during the coming months are centred around social distancing and stopping the virus from spreading. The most obvious way of doing this, apart from maintains the 2m rule, is wearing face face coverings in general.
There are two issues to consider with face coverings One is that they don’t cover your eyes, which are just as likely to allow the virus in as breathing, but also the material the mask is made from, has to be a certain standard if it going to work at all. Some “authorities” have argued, for these reasons, that face masks on their own will make little difference for the general public and that all supplies of FFP3, N95 and FRPM surgical face coverings should only be made available to healthcare workers.
This means that we need a massive supply of face coverings . We could do this. We have the manufacturing capacity to supply large quantities of plastic mouldings. So I started designing products...