The University of Sheffield have donated over 160,000 items of personal protective equipment (PPE) to NHS staff fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Masks, gloves, aprons and eyewear have been collected from University labs and workshops, and given to staff at the Northern General Hospital.

Frontline staff have raised concerns in recent days about the level of PPE available in hospitals, despite it being an important tool to protect staff and their patients – as well as relieving the strain on the NHS by keeping them well.

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This is the latest in a string of moves the University has done to help the NHS, including using the iForge makerspace to make face shields. They said that the PPE donated filled two vans.

“We have been overwhelmed by the support we have had from organisations and businesses across the city in response to the Covid-19 outbreak and we are so grateful,” said Michael Harper, Chief Operating Officer of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, which operates Northern General.

“The University of Sheffield has been incredible not just in terms of this donation but also by working in partnership with our engineers and clinical teams to produce visors and of course many of the medical and nursing students are also volunteering to be part of the teams in our hospitals providing care.”

As well as producing and donating PPE, the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre have been helping to manufacture more ventilators for use in intensive care, while researchers are supporting coronavirus testing.

“Like so many universities in the UK, one of our first responses to the Covid-19 pandemic was to ask ‘what can we do to help?’. We are very pleased to be able to support the NHS through research, innovation and donations of equipment such as PPE,” said Professor Koen Lamberts, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield.

“South Yorkshire has an excellent NHS and care workforce and we want to thank every single key worker who has worked so hard to support our region during this devastating pandemic.”

Face-to-face teaching at Sheffield University has been suspended since Monday 16 March, three days after the first confirmed case of the virus was found on campus.

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Image credit: The University of Sheffield

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