Made in Bath – University’s success in producing protective face wear.

Working from a lab on campus, staff from the University of Bath’s Faculty of Engineering & Design will today complete their 20,000th face shield – which alongside 8,000 eye protectors – will help to protect medical staff in the area from coronavirus.

Over 100 local businesses, groups and individuals have already given assistance to the effort. Last week, Airsprung Group, based in Trowbridge, donated 2,000 cut-to-size foam strips that are used to make face shields.

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The face shields are being made for the Royal United Hospitals Bath (RUH), while the eye protectors are being supplied to care homes, GP practices and pharmacies in the area. Donations of face shields have also been made to other hospitals in the region.

The team has now urged businesses that could help cut or supply acetate sheeting to get in contact, as they aim to maintain the rapid pace of production. Organisations that could help with this request have been asked to email medicalfaceshields@gmail.com to speak with the team

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Dr Alexander Lunt, a lecturer in Mechanical Engineering who is part of the project team, said: “We’re hugely grateful to everyone who has helped us to continue making this vital equipment. There is a long list, from the donors who have supplied funds, to local partners and businesses who have come forward to help and even sent food and drink for the team.”

James Scott, Chief  Executive of the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We’re really grateful to the University of Bath for their expertise and this generous offer, which will help our teams to care for our patients and staff and keep them safe.”

Pharmacies and GPs receiving eye protectors

Eye protectors, which are being made from acetate leftover from the production of the face shields, have been shared with local care staff at care homes and pharmacies with the help of Bath and North East Somerset Council (B&NES).

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This work follows the existing Our Shared Future collaboration between the University and Council, which launched earlier this year and brings together skills, knowledge and expertise from across Bath to address challenges faced by Bath and the region.

Professor Bernie Morley, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost at the University said: “We have been working closely with colleagues at B&NES around a number of issues, exploring ways in which we can combine our skills in order to find new solutions.

“The enhanced working relationship between our two organisations that has developed through the Our Shared Future project has resulted in us being able to quickly work together to provide essential PPE where it is most needed.”