Science to the rescue as the University of Bath steps in to help city hospitals
News is the moment is only too full of stories about the hospitals struggling to get hold of the appropriate personal protection equipment (PPE).
One such hospital is the Royal United Hospital in Bath, only a short drive – or a slightly longer walk – from our head office.
And coming to the rescue is another neighbour and a client of ours, the University of Bath.
Science at work
The Department of Mechanical Engineering staff reverse-engineered and tested face shields to mirror the hospital’s existing stock. The shields are key to protect medical staff and reduce the potential transmission of the virus during patient appointments.
Another staff member, working alone, took just three days to manufacture 250 face shields. In case you are wondering about what they are made of, it's foam and hand-cut acetate sheets, with foam parts supplied by yet another local business, Bristol-based Foam Cutting and Design.
More help on the way
The academics at the University are motoring ahead with more initiatives to help the hospital:
- Mechanical engineering experts are collaborating with the hospital to see if they can double the capacity of its critical ventilators by using computer modelling to understand how life-saving machine could be safely used between two patients.
- Another project team has designed and manufactured Perspex enclosures for equipment trolleys to save time spent cleaning them between patient assessments.
- Departments of Chemistry and Biology & Biochemistry have also helped by donating a range of its personal protection equipment including gloves, face masks and safety glasses.
- The projects helping the hospitals during the current coronavirus crisis have been supported by a £5,000 grant from the University’s alumni fund.
Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust chief executive James Scott said: "We're really grateful to the university for their expertise and this generous offer, which will help our teams to care for our patients and staff and keep them safe. We work closely with the university, particularly on research projects, and this is a great example of our continued collaboration."