The challenges of acquiring and supplying PPE are headline news and the NHSs shortage very well documented. Speaking to GP practices on a daily basis GP Surveyors understand the struggles GP surgeries are going through to acquire adequate supplies of PPE and have decided to try and help by supporting a fantastic local initiative that is providing protective visors to the NHS.
Many businesses, organisations, and individuals across the UK have mobilised to try and help meet the NHS’s need, whether that is through PPE production, deliveries, or fundraising. A growing cottage industry that has sprung up is the 3-D printing of protective visors, enterprising individuals across the UK are creating thousands of face visors from their own homes to try and help keep key workers safe.
In South Yorkshire, there is one such initiative that GP Surveyors, other local businesses, and many individuals have chosen to support. The initiative in question is 3D printed Face Shields, a Facebook fundraising page that was set up by Alex Southall (pictured) to produce face visors for key workers.
Chris Johnson, GP Surveyors Director:
“The GP Surveyors team has heard first-hand from GP practices about the challenges they are faced with, and the lack of PPE and we wanted to help in any way we could. We found out about Alex’s fantastic initiative through a contact at the Rotherham Round Table and wanted to contribute to help local practices get hold of the protective visors they desperately need.”
One such GP practice that has been helped is East Bank Medical Centre in Sheffield who recently received their protective face visors (pictured). Sharon Turner, Practice Manager said:
“We are very grateful to Alex for his generosity in producing these, much needed protective visors. The visors will help keep my colleagues and our patients safe during these troubling times. Also, a big thanks to GP Surveyors for making this possible.”
Alex first set up his Facebook page with the aim of raising enough money to produce a couple of hundred visors. Alex just wanted to try and make a small contribution and from there funding and orders flooded in, so much so that Alex had to purchase two additional printers to keep up with demand.
Alex says on his Facebook fundraising page: “I’m not making any profit on these, just printing and offering them out for free. This is in response to the global pandemic sweeping across our nation. I am doing my bit to hopefully help with this.”
Alex then went on to partner with the Rotherham Round Table, who purchased three of their own printers, and having been trained up by Alex, are helping in the PPE production drive and fundraising efforts.
Steven Reynard, Rotherham Round Table, said: “It’s a great initiative, the Round Table just had to get involved and help in the efforts to support the local NHS.”
Local businesses have also contributed to helping with Alex’s efforts, including John Brailsford Printers, who donated 400 laminate sheets to help with the creation of the visors.
John Brailsford said: “It is our pleasure to assist Alex with his very worthy efforts in helping the NHS. We were fortunate to have Alex with us on work placement and can see this time has paid off. Our business was not just built on printing services, but our support to our employees and the local community, we’re proud to be a part of Rotherham.”
To date, Alex and his colleague Rikki Bedford have raised enough money to produce nearly 2,000 visors for the NHS, GPs, and keyworkers of South Yorkshire. Starting with just one printer and a will to help, thousands of keyworkers have received visors that keep them safe in these troubled times. Many organisations across South Yorkshire, including Rotherham Hospital and the Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust, have benefited from this wonderful initiative.
Sheffield Health and Social Care Trust wrote to Alex to express her thanks:
“Thank you for the kind supply of visors for our staff… It is an unprecedented time in the NHS and your kindness has allowed staff to be provided with safe and adequate PPE in order to protect them and our patients.”
If you’d like to help GP practices and the NHS gain the vital PPE they need or you’re a keyworker in South Yorkshire that requires a protective visor please visit Alex’s Facebook page: 3D printed Face Shields