Posted Monday 6 April 2020
Gloves, safety glasses, lab coats and masks are among the items Kingston University has donated to local NHS services to help protect front-line staff from coronavirus.
The personal protective equipment, usually used in the University's laboratories and workshops, has been packaged up and delivered to Kingston Health Centre and Kingston Hospital during the past few weeks.
The University was initially approached by staff at Kingston Heath Centre in March to see if there was anything it could do to help protect them during the Covid-19 pandemic. Shortly after Kingston Council also got in touch to ask whether any PPE support could be provided to Kingston Hospital. Technicians working in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing and in the University's Kingston School of Art responded to the call and have now donated a range of items to both the health centre and the Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
In total, some 16,600 disposable gloves, 82 regular lab coats, 1,324 safety spectacles, 10 packs of overshoes and 54 disposable face masks were provided to NHS services in the borough, alongside eight specialist Howie lab coats, four disposable overalls, four full face shields and three particulate respirators.
Staff across the University had been determined to do what they could to offer support after being alerted to the urgent need for additional PPE, head of technical services in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing David Utton said.
"The coronavirus pandemic is affecting every one of us and we wanted to make sure we were doing our bit to help in whatever way we could," he said. "Supporting our local NHS services, which are widely used by our students and staff, in this way was an important opportunity for us to give something back to the community at a time when we could make a real difference. It's been a huge team effort from all our technicians, who went through all our science and engineering laboratories and store rooms, packaging up everything we had available to donate."
The head of workshops at Kingston School of Art, Richard Trupp, said it was vital for organisations to step forward to assist where they could. "Our technicians jumped at the chance to help front-line NHS staff. We're all in this together and it's so important every organisation does what it can to back our NHS at this time," he said. "Because of the nature of what we do at Kingston School of Art, we had a large supply of safety spectacles, which are worn by students at all times in workshops. In other areas, such as print making, we had a good stock of disposable gloves, along with masks and other useful safety items we could provide."
An initial delivery was made to Kingston Health Centre towards the middle of March, with further box loads of equipment shared between the health centre and the hospital the following week.
The donations of PPE were gratefully received by staff, according to Kingston Hospital's Director of Nursing and Quality Sally Brittain. "It is wonderful to see how challenging times such as these can bring people together," she said. "We would like to extend our warmest thanks for the generous donations of the safety spectacles and other PPE items we've received from Kingston University for our staff here at Kingston Hospital."