MP's praise for Northumberland PPE production hub

An innovative approach to ensuring a sustainable supply of PPE has been praised by a Northumberland MP.

Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 20th May 2020, 4:02 pm

Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Secretary of State for International Development, visited Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust’s manufacturing and distribution hub in Cramlington.The hub, which began manufacturing PPE on May 6, will make up to 6,000 protective gowns a week for frontline NHS workers and is part of a wider network of manufacturing businesses and partners.A six-month commitment has been made by the network of 35 businesses and partners, which is supported by NHS England/Improvement, to manufacture up to 30,000 gowns a day for healthcare organisations across the North East and Yorkshire.As well as helping to ensure a sustainable supply of PPE the hub will employ 35 machinists.Anne-Marie, who met the machinists and put her sewing skills to the test by making a gown, said: “I think the trust has done incredibly well to set up this factory in such a short time while harnessing the energy, skills and expertise both locally and across the region to become self sufficient and support other NHS organisations.

“I would like to thank Northumbria’s leadership team who have taken up the challenge of setting up the manufacturing hub.

“I would also like to extend a heartfelt thank you, on behalf of all of my colleagues in Westminster, to all our health and care workers across the region who are going above and beyond to look after those in need. We appreciate every single one of you.”

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Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick upon Tweed, visits the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust personal protective equipment factory in Cramlington where she met volunteers and joined in with making PPE for the NHS. She was accompanied on the visit by Paul Dunn, Executive Director of Finance for the trust.

Paul Dunn, Northumbria Healthcare executive director of finance, said: “We were very pleased and proud to be able to show Anne-Marie our manufacturing and distribution hub – a facility made possible by the amazing support, innovation and determination of individual volunteers, colleagues at Northumbria and other NHS trusts, businesses and partners and I thank each one of them.“The last couple of months have been extremely challenging, but as always, the determination, commitment and resilience of our NHS workforce in our region has been admirable.”It takes eight to ten minutes to make a gown and the material used, which now has technical approval by the Health and Safety Executive, is a laminated spunbond nonwoven fabric.

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Anne-Marie Trevelyan, MP for Berwick, has a go at making a protective gown.

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Berwick MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Paul Dunn of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.