British firm makes NHS gowns after sourcing material abroad

Sarah Stoute, chief executive, said: “We have managed to find the two things that were an issue: the raw material being the right standard, and somebody in China that has the capacity in the correct working conditions in order to make sterile surgical gowns for the UK.

“That will just be coming to the UK. I’ve got demand globally from countries that we work with. But we will always make sure the UK gets as much as it needs. “

Simon Walsh, the deputy chief officer of the HCSA, which represents NHS procurement officials, described Full Support as “genuine heroes in the PPE story”.

Mrs Stoute, a former nurse, said she expected the firm to be supplying a “good amount” of the sterile gowns by July, and that they would be sold to the national pandemic stockpile. She said her firm was just a “small part of a massive supply base”, with many other companies selling vital PPE for use in the health service.

She added that the company had already been planning to produce FFP3 masks in the UK before the start of the pandemic, but was unable to ship the necessary machines to the country after the outbreak began.

“The machines are now going to be coming from another country, and we’re ready to go,” Mrs Stoute said.

“That is the mask that all the hospitals are asking for. So we are going to produce that in the UK as an ongoing initiative.

“In addition to that, we are going to be producing Type II Rs …  they are the ones they wear with the ear loops in the hospital.” The firm is aiming to produce 60 million of Type II masks per month from its factory in Wellingborough, Northants.

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