While Ricardo is perhaps better known for providing technology solutions for the automotive industry, the British company has taken advantage of its expertise in engineering to provide its support to the UK health industry by manufacturing and delivering vital PPE equipment.
As a part of its effort to support local care homes and NHS trusts, Ricardo has made deliveries of the first 2,000 of its purpose-designed protective face shields – an important part of the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required by those working on the front line of the national effort to combat the Covid-19 pandemic.
The deliveries of the first 2000 protective face shields is a major milestone in Ricardo’s effort to provide PPE to front line workers in care homes and the NHS. The shields are made to a bespoke Ricardo design and benefit from the company’s experience of high value, rapid response assembly and supply chain management. Local NHS doctors assisted the Ricardo design team by testing the new face shield for enhanced comfort and wearability over extended periods.
The face shield frames were manufactured by longstanding supply chain partner Stephens Plastic Mouldings, using tooling co-funded jointly with Ricardo. To ensure that the face shields reach care home and NHS staff as quickly as possible, facilities at Ricardo’s Technical Centres at Shoreham by Sea in West Sussex and Leamington Spa have been repurposed as assembly lines and logistics centers for this much-needed PPE.
Although the requirement for the face shields was urgent, Ricardo followed the usual industry standards and best practice for testing. Ricardo worked with the industry-leading test provider SATRA to secure fast-tracked testing of its protective face shield to EN166. Crucially, this testing enables the PPE to be NHS approved for Covid-19 emergency use.
Recipients of the first 2,000 face shields donated by Ricardo included Richmond Manor, Bedfordshire, of the Hamberley Care Homes group, Shelley Care Home in West Sussex, and the city and county councils for Brighton & Hove, Avon & Wiltshire and Warwickshire who are distributing PPE to care homes in their respective areas. In addition, supplies were also delivered to NHS teams including at the Avon and Witshire Mental Health Partnership, the Charter Medical Centre in Hove, and the Burgess Hill Covid Clinical Assessment Service.
“We are delighted to have received a donation of 250 visors from Ricardo and would like to thank them for their kind donation,” said Paul Hill, CEO of Hamberley Care Homes and Inspire Neurocare. “The safety and wellbeing of our residents and staff is our highest priority and I’d like to take this opportunity say a huge thank you to our care teams for their continued dedication and commitment during this challenging time.”
“We firmly believe that the correct and comprehensive PPE is absolutely key to delivering a robust service for patients, as we don’t want to shy away from clinical need, whilst keeping our staff safe,” commented Dr Esther Bird of the Burgess Hill Covid Clinical Assessment Service. “Ricardo’s assistance and foresight is very much appreciated.”
“The entire Ricardo team is committed to supporting our local communities in the fight against Covid-19,” added Ricardo Automotive & Industrial MD Stephen Dyke. “We are very proud to be able to help to protect those in the front line at care homes and in the NHS, and it has been humbling for us to receive very positive feedback on our efforts to provide PPE to staff in these absolutely crucial roles.”
In addition to the supply of face shields to care homes and the NHS, Ricardo announced earlier in the week that it is assisting healthcare technology company Isansys, which is facing an unprecedented demand for its advanced patient monitoring systems amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Ricardo is providing expert consultancy in supply chain development and manufacturing operations, with a view to enabling a rapid scaling up of production of these much-needed systems.
In further efforts to support the fight against Covid-19, Ricardo has also offered its services to government and to healthcare providers on the rapid design or conversion of vehicles for use as ambulances and as other support vehicles, and has offered the use of some facilities for testing or as logistic centers.