Heritage British brand Barbour has today announced that its factory in South Shields has begun production of personal protective equipment (PPE) for North East NHS Trusts to help in the fight against COVID-19.
Working with the Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI) in Newcastle upon Tyne, which was the first hospital to treat UK patients suffering from coronavirus in January 2020, the Barbour factory based in South Shields has begun to make an initial quantity of disposable gowns planned for delivery on Friday.
It will then move to a larger scale production of gowns and scrubs for the RVI and other North East NHS Trusts to support frontline medical staff who are in urgent need of protective items.
Chairman, Dame Margaret Barbour, said: “Everyone has a role to play in fighting COVID-19 and I wanted my daughter Helen and I to play our part by turning our South Shields factory over to produce PPE product for the NHS. Our staff’s welfare is our most important priority and we have undertaken a strict risk assessment to ensure we adhere to social distancing and that they are fully protected whilst undertaking this important role. I am very grateful to my staff for their overwhelming support.”
“The factory, where we normally make our classic wax jackets is no stranger to adaptation. During both World Wars, we turned the factory over to make military garments to assist the war effort. We are pleased to once again be able to make a difference and, this time, to support the NHS.”
Recently it was announced that fellow British heritage Burberry had also re-tooled its Castleford, Yorkshire factory to produce non-surgical gowns and masks for the NHS.