PPE coordination across Kent and Medway
The NHS across Kent and Medway, together with partners in social care and other frontline services, is working around the clock on the supply and distribution of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
We are very grateful for all the donations from local businesses and individuals that have already been sent to frontline teams.
To make sure donations are getting to where they would be most useful, and to confirm equipment meets the standards needed for clinical use, we are asking anyone wishing to support local health and care services with PPE to start using our central distribution service.
The distribution centre tracks the stock that services across Kent and Medway have and makes sure that the supplies are moved around to where they are needed most. Sending donations to the distribution centre will make the most of your contribution.
Our PPE team is working with all local partners involved in Kent and Medway’s response to Covid-19, and is helping to supply:
- Hospitals, community and mental health services
- General Practice teams
- Care homes, hospices and home care workers
- Ambulance and patient transport services.
Any PPE that frontline health and care staff use needs to be of clinical quality and provide the right level of protection for the type of work staff are doing.
Our distribution centre team includes experts in infection prevention who will quality check all donations.
We can provide advice on the level of protection that donations of pre-made PPE need to provide; and give feedback on quality of items being made.
Sending equipment directly to frontline teams, who are very busy caring for patients, means you might not get feedback to improve quality if it is needed; and well-meaning donations may have to be discarded.
This is something many local business and individuals have turned their hand to; either using 3D printers or sourcing materials to assemble visors from.
We have our own 3D printers in Kent and Medway producing visors. If you are making visors, please send them to our distribution centre so we can co-ordinate the total supply and send them to where they are most needed. Contact us for details.
Would you like to join the volunteers assembling personal protective face visors for staff working on the frontline?
If you live in the Dartford/north Kent area, have time to spare at any point over the next four to five weeks (weekdays or weekends) and want to help, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
The role involves some sanding, putting pieces together and packing. Basic training will be provided. Hours are 10am to 6pm but can be flexible for later starts or earlier finishes.
There is on-site secure parking, facilities to make hot drinks, refrigerators to store food, and a take-away lunch is normally provided.
Some of our NHS colleagues recently volunteered their time at the distorbution centre. Jim Shaw-Cotterill, Project Manager for Local Care, had initially been redeployed at the start of our Covid-19 response to support the set-up of the hot and cold sites and the swabbing project. When this work came to an end, Jim looked to see how local care could be supported through the pandemic.
He said: “The work at the distribution centre is basic but vital. ‘The printing farm’ uses 3D printers to create the plastic which holds the see-through visor in place. When printed it can sometimes be rough, so our job is to file and sand the plastic so it is smooth, as it rests on your forehead while supporting the visor.
“We also had to punch the holes into the plastic to attach the visor to the headband and package the components for assembly at their final destination. What I found really interesting is that the plastic is made of corn so it is biodegradable!”
Jim and his colleagues Julia Nason and Kathryn Gunyon also helped assemble visors with animal ears on which were being sent to colleagues working on children's wards:
We know many local businesses who use PPE have already donated their supplies to local health and care services; and we are grateful for the generosity and support.
If you do have stocks and are considering donating them, please contact us.
It is important to get in touch before sending the donations as our team includes experts in infection prevention, who can confirm the level of protection different items of PPE must provide for clinical use. We can also advise on whether we already have sufficient stocks of specific items .
The central PPE team will gratefully accept donations of:
- Nitrile gloves
- Disposable plastic aprons/gowns
- Tyvex suits
- Eye protection
- Face makes
- Alcohol hand gel
- Cleaning wipes.
All NHS and care services genuinely appreciate the level of support the public is showing around PPE.
But we do not want your kindness to result in you spending money that doesn’t actually deliver any or the right PPE.
The unprecedented global demand for PPE unfortunately means there are a lot of bogus online offers.
Some suppliers are selling equipment that is well below the standard needed for clinical use. Others are outright scams that will take your money and deliver nothing.
Please don’t take this approach. The thought is appreciated, but there is a high risk it will not result in useable clinical-quality PPE.
If you would like to make a financial contribution to support NHS staff, most hospitals and other NHS trusts have official charitable funds that you could make a donation to. Their websites will have details. Alternatively we know national and local charities which support health and wellbeing are struggling with reduced donations during lock down and would greatly appreciate support.