University of Portsmouth makes 1,000 face shields for NHS workers in Portsmouth
EXPERTS at the city’s university have made 1,000 state-of-the-art protective masks for NHS workers in the fight against coronavirus.
The face shields prevent the wearer touching their face and provide a barrier if a patient was to cough.
More than 1,000 have been supplied to Queen Alexandra Hospital and other NHS trusts, with plans to provide another 1,500 to Hampshire’s fire service and police.
The 30 seconds the mask takes to cut using laser technology is ‘far more efficient than the one-to-two hours using standard 3D printing technology,’ the university said. It means 1,000 could be made a day.
Senior lecturer Ted Turnbull, who led the production team, said: ‘The design and manufacturing method will allow the university to produce thousands of shields so that front line medical staff in the city and across the UK will be able to benefit from the protection offered.
‘We will continue to make the shields to meet the demand for this crucial piece of equipment.’
The design consists of a plastic headband and frame, which can be disinfected without damaging the material meaning it can be reused.
It was created by Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries technician John Daltry, whose wife is a nurse at QA.
Mr Turnbull said: ‘We’ve been able to draw on the creative and technical talent of staff from across the university.
‘This face shield will reduce the risk of infection to staff and patients.’
To help address the shortfall of personal protective equipment the university has also been donating items from other faculties.
A university spokesman said: ‘To help protect healthcare professionals and key workers as they work on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of departments across the university are donating vital supplies.
‘The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies have donated fabric face masks, gloves, hair nets, shoe covers and full-body protective suits while the Schools of Biological Sciences and Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences are arranging a donation to Portsmouth City Council of nitrile gloves, face visors and safety eye wear.’
Mr Turnbull added: ‘When we come out the other side of the pandemic, as a university and a community we want to be able to say we did everything we could’.