Posted: Mon 13th Apr 2020

Advice issued to North Wales coronavirus visor makers as some designs don’t provide enough protection

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Monday, Apr 13th, 2020

Advice has been issued to people making coronavirus visors in North Wales after it was found that some designs do not offer enough protection for health workers.

Schools, colleges, businesses, universities and technology enthusiasts have all joined the voluntary effort to help the NHS by making protective personal equipment (PPE) during the COVID-19.

The region’s health board has thanked all those involved for assisting as reports suggest government supplies have not been sufficient to support frontline staff.

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) has now issued guidance though as some of the designs do not meet the right standards.

In a statement, a spokesperson said: “There are now many visor ‘makers’ across North Wales voluntarily producing visors to help protect key workers in North Wales during this challenging COVID-19 response period.

“It is BCUHB’s intention to work with the voluntary maker community to ensure that BCUHB staff and other key workers in our communities have the very best quality visors possible, to ensure that they will protect our staff and
not harm them either.

“We’re sure you will understand that to do this we need to have confidence in the design, materials, manufacture and decontamination of the visor before we issue it for use.”

The board said where possible it would procure CE marked equipment – a certification mark that indicates conformity with health, safety, and environmental protection standards for products sold within the European Economic Area.

Non-CE marked visors will only be used when those with the mark are not available.

Betsi Cadwaladr is working with voluntary makers in North Wales to ensure the best quality visors can be produced for key workers.

Menai Science Parc on Anglesey has provided advice and worked with the board to identify and produce a number of designs for assessment.

It has also offered its premises and resources to help ensure quality control measures are in place.

The spokesperson said: “A clinical scientist from BCUHB’s Posture and Mobility Service and Infection Prevention and Control teams have assessed a number of different visor models that have been provided by local ‘makers’ in recent days.

“Some versions are not suitable for key workers because they do not provide the necessary protection.

“Currently (at 12/04/20), the preferred visor models are the PRUSA RC3 and the Kitronik which is laser cut.”

Details on providing the correct design is available via an online forum at http://forum.northwales.tech.

Details on the kitronic design will be provided over the next couple of days.

All makers in North Wales are respectfully asked to register here: https://awyrlas.org.uk/covid19offersofsupport and read the information.

The BCUHB Voluntary PPE Coordinator can then make contact with you to provide guidance.

The spokesperson added: “We’ve been overwhelmed with the generosity of the maker community of North Wales over the last three weeks.

“The way that individuals, organisations, businesses and academia have been able to work together for this cause is remarkable.”

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