Thousands of NHS and care workers better protected as UEA visor production ends

Published by  News Archive

On 27th May 2020

UEA scientists with visors in lab

After seven weeks and hundreds of hours worked by volunteers, the University of East Anglia’s (UEA) production of visors and Ear Comfort Bands (ECBs) has come to an end, with the final assembly totals exceeding 12,000 of each.

The UEA-led project has helped to keep thousands of the region’s key workers protected during the fight against COVID-19, with the voluntary help of over 20 local organisations and individuals. These helpers came together to supply the University with 3D printed parts, raw materials and labour to produce over 12,000 visors and over 12,000 ECBs.

With local NHS supply chains now able to manage the demand for personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers, the collaborative project has wound down, with a substantial supply distributed to Norfolk’s three major hospitals: Norwich University Hospital (NNUH), James Paget Hospital (JPH) in Great Yarmouth and Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in King’s Lynn. The PPE has also been provided to a number of pharmacies, community hospitals, hospices and care homes across Norfolk and Suffolk.

The collaboration came about after UEA put a call out to the local tech community via the SyncNorwich network for assistance in providing access to 3D printers and sharing software skills back in March.

Production began at the beginning of April and since then teams of volunteers have helped with producing the visors, with assembly and quality control checks taking place by UEA technicians and academics in laboratories in the University’s New Science Building.

UEA’s Health and Social Care Partners were also influential in linking together the School of Engineering, School of Pharmacy and Research and Innovation Network (RIN) to source and produce equipment and supply resources, develop 3D printing parts and distribute the visors to a number of partner organisations.

Whilst production of the PPE items has finished, thanks to the generosity of the volunteers in the last week of the project, UEA still has a number of ECBs available. Any local health or care organisations, or teams with frontline staff who wear face masks, can request these for free by contacting business@uea.ac.uk (minimum 100 per order).

UEA’s Vice Chancellor, Prof David Richardson expressed his gratitude to all the project partners and individuals involved saying: “Through the generosity of many organisations and a small army of individuals the project has also been able to respond to urgent requests from the community including hospices, care homes and pharmacies.

“This is all down to the tremendous voluntary work of the group of 3D printers, our raw materials suppliers, laser cutters, UEA technicians and Security team.”

Prof Nancy Fontaine, Chief Nurse at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, said: “I am truly humbled by the overwhelming support we have received from local people and would like to thank everyone who was involved in making the visors which are so vital to us. We have felt the love from the community every step of the way as we have tackled the challenges posed by the pandemic.”

Thanks go to all the partners who helped to make this project possible, including: Altair Astro UK; Birds of Dereham; Bosch (Suffolk); CF Tech; Copyshop (Great Yarmouth); DMP 3D; Drone Training Ltd; Greg Rowe Ltd; Haas; Hexatomic; John Mayes Engineering Ltd; Knit Wit; Littlewood Lodge; LSI Architects; Norwich Research Park; Norwich Print Solutions; Norwich University of the Arts; Notre Dame High School; Paper Story; Perdix Design Ltd; Pixel Spark; Redpack; S-Can; SyncNorwich; The Norfolk Truffle Company; Waitrose (Eaton); Yare Valley Technical Services – plus the army of generous individuals who also provided invaluable support.

Latest News

  News
Shop closed due to lockdown
25 Nov 2020

Tier 1 didn’t work and tier reallocation “too slow”, research shows

Tier 1 restrictions in England have had “little impact” on Covid-19 transmission according to new research from the University of East Anglia. Researchers...

Read more >
  News
25 Nov 2020

Domestic abuse frontline staff reveal strain of work in lockdown

In the upheaval of Britain’s first national lockdown, one crucial sector of social care workers were largely overlooked – but new research from the University of...

Read more >
  News
Female footballer heading football
25 Nov 2020

Could female footballers face greater dementia risk?

Female footballers heading the ball could be putting themselves at even greater risk of dementia than male players according to experts at the University of East...

Read more >
Are you searching for something?
  News
Vice-Chancellor Professor David Richardson
24 Nov 2020

UEA leads change in tackling racial harassment in higher education

A UUK advisory group, led by Vice-Chancellor Prof David Richardson, has published a set of recommendations to tackle racial harassment, with MED cited nationally...

Read more >
  News
24 Nov 2020

The danger of Z-drugs for dementia patients

Strong sleeping pills known as ‘Z-drugs’ are linked with an increased risk of falls, fractures and stroke among people with dementia – according to research from...

Read more >
  News
19 Nov 2020

The lightbulb moment helping to save our environment

UEA’s Estates team has made CO2 savings equivalent to providing 60 homes with electricity for a year, all through the installation of energy-efficient bulbs in...

Read more >
  News
Globe with ClimateOfChange and ClimateUEA logos
18 Nov 2020

UEA among top universities urging G20 leaders to prioritise net zero emissions

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is part of an international coalition of leading climate research universities urging world leaders to prioritise net zero...

Read more >
  News
Norwich Research Park
18 Nov 2020

UEA researchers named in world’s 2020 most highly cited list

Ten Norwich Research Park scientists have been named in the annual Highly Cited Researchers list for 2020, including five from the University of East Anglia.

Read more >
  News
Women working on the land
13 Nov 2020

UEA Researchers win prestigious Celebrating Impact Prize

Researchers from the University of East Anglia are among the winners of the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) annual Celebrating Impact Prize awards,...

Read more >
  News
Stranded migrant workers during fourth phase of the lockdown because of COVID-19 pandemic in Delhi, taking rest on the way to their village near New Delhi railway station
12 Nov 2020

Pandemic highlights fragility of India’s millions of migrant workers

Social protection policies failed India’s millions of migrant workers during the Covid pandemic, according to new research from the University of East Anglia (UEA).

Read more >