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.

Tuesday, 12th May 2020, 8:35 am

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).

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

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

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.

“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.”

A message from the Editorial Director, Gillian Parkinson:

Thank you for reading this story on our website.

But I also have an urgent plea to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality local news on this free-to-read site and in print, please purchase a copy of our newspaper as well.

With the coronavirus lockdown having a major impact on our town centres and many of our valued advertisers - and consequently the advertising that we receive - we are more reliant than ever on you buying a copy when you pop out for your essential shop or subscribing for delivery.

Our journalists are highly trained by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the most rigorous standards anywhere in the world. Our content is universally trusted - as all independent research proves.

As Baroness Barran said in a House of Lords debate this week on the importance of journalists: "Not only are they a trusted source of facts, but they will have a role to play in rallying communities and getting the message across about how we can keep ourselves and our families safe, and protect our NHS. Undoubtedly, they have a critical role."

But being your eyes and ears comes at a price. So we need your support more than ever to buy our newspapers during this crisis. In return we will continue to forensically cover the local news - not only the impact of the virus but all the positive and uplifting news happening in these dark days.

We thank all our readers and advertisers for their understanding and support - and we wish YOU all the best in the coming weeks. Keep safe, and follow the Government advice. Thank you.

HOW TO SUBSCRIBE:

You can subscribe for delivery by contacting us at [email protected] or calling us on 0330 4033004 for details of a participating newsagent near you.