Date of release: 24 July 2020
Production of The Royal Wolverhampton NHS Trust’s in house visors has finished after the team reached a staggering quarter of a million milestone.
The team was set up to start making the visors on April 10 and the Trust’s on-site Maxillofacial Laboratory - that normally makes facial implants for cancer patients - produced a design and the Clinical Procurement team sourced the materials.
The library at the Wolverhampton Medical Institute at New Cross Hospital became a makeshift production line. A total of 104 staff were redeployed from 29 different departments across the three hospital sites – New Cross, West Park and Cannock Chase – to make the visors.
Initial targets of making 500 a day were quickly surpassed as one daily five-hour shift grew to two and they were constructing an average of 5,500 per day. June 3rd was a record-breaking day with 7,229 made in a ten-hour shift and 4,034 for a five-hour one. With the end in sight, it seemed appropriate that Gail Smart, a Health Care Assistant from the Emergency Department, who has worked most shifts, 51 out of the 96 available, made the final visor. In terms of materials, 500,000 rivets, 250,000 pieces of acetate, 250,000 foam strips and 87,500 metres of elastic – over 54 miles – have been used.
But with stocks now high and more sources of visors now available nationwide, the Trust took the decision to stop production and all staff will now return to their previous roles.
Mel Riley, the head of visor production, was redeployed from her role as an Orthoptist working within the Ophthalmology team based at New Cross Hospital. She said: “I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to all of the staff who have taken part.
“They have been amazing and are truly a credit to their departments and this Trust. They have demonstrated how a fantastic team can be formed from scratch, from different backgrounds and experience. We formed what I would describe as a visor team family. The team vibe and positivity has been inspirational. I have made many friends – like we all have – and we will all keep in touch.”
David Loughton, Chief Executive of the Trust, said: “Mel and her team have done a truly outstanding job at a time of intense demand to keep our frontline staff safe. Thank you so much for all you have done – I am so proud of your achievements.”
David himself was at the riveting machine during the final shift, after which he gave a speech and thanked staff for their efforts.
Notes to Editor
- For further information, please call Tim Nash on 01902 447297 or email firstname.lastname@example.org