Making PPE visors freely available for NHS staff

Roy McGillivray explains how Swift Dental Group is hoping to make PPE visors for NHS staff freely available.

When the British government announced the countries lockdown on the 23 March, Swift Dental Group closed it doors and our production of medical devices ceased. This meant ceasing printing on our 3D Nexus printers and furloughing all our staff across all six sites.

Anthony Wilkinson, our CAD/CAM manager, began working on ideas to utilise our 3D printers. He quickly came up with the full-face PPE visors.

A text message was sent to all HQ staff to volunteer their time to help in the production of visors. The response was astonishing. All the team at Swift Dental Group wanted to help in any way they could. To say thank you to our phenomenal NHS frontline staff and key workers.

By the second week of production, we had produced over 1,000 visors before distributing them all over the UK to a variety of healthcare and hospital settings.

So far, we have donated visors to St Bart’s Hospital (London), Royal Albert Edward Infirmary (Wigan Hospital), Whiston Hospital (St Helens), Warrington and Halton Teaching Hospitals, St John’s Ambulance Service, police forces, Blackburn Hospital, Care in the Community, nursing/care homes, Salford Royal, Community Trusts and The Greyhound Hotel in Leigh – where dozens and dozens of NHS frontline staff are living and sleeping whilst this pandemic is in effect, as sadly they can’t go home to their loved ones right now.

Targetting 100,000 PPE visors

After a social media campaign and by word of mouth, the news spread quickly. We were inundated with requests for PPE visors; averaging 200+ requests every day and this number is increasing!

We have the manufacturing capabilities, manpower and logistics to make a real difference here. And more than anything, we just want to help.

We decided to set ourselves a target of an additional 100,000 PPE visors. However, in order to reach our target we needed to find a solution to fund the project. With no production and income coming into the business we have to get creative. Hence why we have decided to set up a Gofundme page.

Our hope is that by raising this awareness we will be able to provide PPE visors to the many NHS and key workers who are struggling to protect themselves. By doing this we hope we encourage other businesses to find alternative ways to support their communities during this lockdown period. And hopefully spread the word even further that we are able to provide free PPE visors!

Getting closer to the goal

We are asking everyone to donate whatever you can, no matter how much it is. Every single penny will bring us closer to hitting our goal. We know that these are trying times right now, but every little really does help, and together we can do it.

Let’s get this out there, show our appreciation and make a huge difference to the phenomenal frontline workers who are battling COVID-19 and are risking their lives every single day. With this in mind we have created this Gofundme page at the following link:

If we receive any excess funds, we will then donate these to local charities.

If you are an NHS or key worker and need free PPE visors, please email us at [email protected] or message us on any of our social media channels.

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