Midlands businesses respond to hospital appeal for PPE

The CEO of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire has paid tribute to global businesses and SMEs who have responded to support frontline NHS staff with personal protective equipment during the Covid-19 epidemic.

Andy Hardy, chief executive officer of University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW), issued the thank you after an overwhelming response from the Coventry and Warwickshire’s business community to help boost existing supplies of equipment at the hospital as the pandemic continues.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Local Enterprise Partnership (CWLEP) Growth Hub put out a call for companies who might be able to help as part of a national push.

UHCW has now taken delivery of over 40,000 surgical masks which have been donated by leading manufacturer and retailer of commercial retail vehicles LEVC which is based in Ansty Park.


Coventry-based Kite Packaging and Jaguar Land Rover are producing and supplying thousands of visors to staff treating Coronavirus patients on the wards and operating theatres at the hospital whilst the University of Warwick has produced hand sanitiser for staff and patients.

Many industries have been temporarily refocussing their efforts to help the NHS fight the pandemic. Aston Martin is producing surgical gowns to be worn by hospital frontline staff and The Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) have been manufacturing intubating shields for use with ventilators.

Meanwhile smaller companies have supplied a range of equipment including goggles, gloves and masks.

Professor Hardy said the response from a myriad of companies has been phenomenal and on behalf of all the hard-working staff at the hospital, he was extremely grateful.

“When the call out was made, we never expected such a response and so quickly,” he said.

“We have been inundated with offers of help from companies large and small from throughout Coventry and Warwickshire as well as members of the public.

“All the equipment that has been provided to date has been used by our staff who are going above and beyond on every shift. The efforts of our local businesses also give us and our staff the confidence that we have additional supplies of PPE for the unknown period ahead.

“On their behalf, I would like to say a massive heartfelt thank-you for the sterling efforts of all the businesses and members of the public who have provided equipment which is making such a big difference at our hospital.”

Craig Humphrey, the managing director of the CWLEP Growth Hub, said this illustrated the close-knit nature of the area’s business community as well as their talent in research and design and manufacturing.

He said: “Coventry and Warwickshire is renowned as the Knowledge Capital of the UK and the swiftness and skill shown by businesses of varying sizes highlights this perfectly.

“The area has a world-wide reputation for R&D and technological expertise and the way companies have switched manufacturing from their usual products to making PPE is to their credit as well as proving extremely beneficial to staff and patients at UHCW.”