Staff return to work to make protective visors for medics at Wigan's hospitals

A firm which reopened its manufacturing facility to design and produce much-needed protective visors will be making a delivery to Wigan’s hospitals today.
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Manchester-based Pilot Group shut the centre due to the Covid-19 pandemic and placed staff on furlough.

But they got back to work when they realised they had the tools and materials to help supply NHS workers with personal protective equipment (PPE).

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Staff and volunteers designed a prototype of a protective visor, with guidance from people working within the NHS.

Grace Bowden demonstrates the visorGrace Bowden demonstrates the visor
Grace Bowden demonstrates the visor

They then started to produce as many visors as they could and as quickly as possible to meet demand from those on the frontline.

After undergoing thorough testing to ensure they do their job of protecting healthcare workers, the 1,900 visors are being delivered to staff at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust and East Lancashire NHS Trust.

Simone Peppi, chief operating officer at Pilot Group, said: “I couldn’t be prouder of our workforce; this has been a combined effort from so many staff within our group. When we took the difficult decision to furlough some staff within the government guidelines, our colleagues looked at the ongoing situation regarding PPE and wondered whether there was a suitable visor that we could design or manufacture to help protect key workers.

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“When we realised we had the capability to make protective visors for NHS frontline workers we immediately reopened the manufacturing facility and staff and volunteers started working on a prototype.

“Now, following their dedicated efforts, we have 1,900 visors being delivered to trusts around the North West over the coming weeks.

“Pilot Group’s mission is to make the place you live and work smart, safe and sustainable. As a business, we are immensely proud and grateful that we had the equipment and skilled workers in place to be able to deliver this vital PPE to our wonderful and courageous NHS frontline workers.

“We are endeavouring to source further materials to help manufacture more PPE so we can continue to support key workers as much as possible in this unprecedented time.”

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