Helping charities face the pandemic

Chorley-headquartered healthcare product manufacturer Vernacare has donated specially made face coverings to local charities.

The manufacturer of infection control systems has produced a limited number of face coverings with the same, innovative fabric it uses to make tubular bandages.

The face coverings are lightweight, breathable and do not irritate the skin. The company has pledged more than 500 face coverings to a number of charities, including Chorley-based Help the Homeless.

Current government regulations state that people must wear a face covering at all times on public transport or when attending a hospital as a visitor or outpatient.

Wearing a face covering in shops and supermarkets in England is also mandatory and more indoor settings are being added to the list.

James Steele, chief executive of Vernacare, said there had been high demand for its products after guidance from the World Health Organisation stipulated that all healthcare facilities should use single-use and disposable products.

He said: “We are extremely proud to have been supporting frontline healthcare workers during the pandemic and, as people try to navigate through the new normal, we wanted to do even more and give something back to charities in our local communities.

“We looked at how our existing materials could be used to make face coverings and the fabric used in our tubular bandages seemed to be the perfect fit.

“We have evolved our manufacturing processes to create the new face coverings and a limited number have gone into production.”

Vernacare has increased production by more than 60 per cent during the last few months to produce disinfecting wipes, disposable bedpans and urinals as well as hospital macerators to dispose of waste safely.

The teams have worked round the clock to distribute vital supplies across the UK and to more than 50 countries - among one of the first orders was a consignment of disinfectant wipes sent to Wuhan, China.

Vernacare's service engineers have installed macerator systems into dedicated Covid-19 wards at many NHS trusts and they have also supplied single-use toileting systems to Nightingale hospitals in London, Glasgow and Birmingham.

The company has also donated items, including waterless bathing products, to medical teams in South Africa and Mexico.