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The University of Southampton

Vital protective gear supplied to NHS in COVID-19 fight

Published: 7 April 2020
Surgical gloves
Chemistry has supplied 22,000 disposable gloves to the NHS

Chemistry at the University of Southampton has supplied 22,000 disposable gloves for the NHS response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The contribution is part of around 80,000 pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) passed from the University to Southampton City NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

The PPE will be distributed to local primary care services, care homes and domiciliary support services.

Staff from across the University helped collect and catalogue stocks of PPE following a request from the CCG. In total, colleagues gathered over 65,400 gloves, 7,400 masks, 6,200 overshoes, 365 coveralls, 200 pairs of safety glasses, 25 gowns, plus aprons.

Professor Gill Reid, Head of Chemistry, says: “Our staff and students are very keen to contribute in any way they can to help with the COVID-19 crisis. I was very pleased that we were able to provide some 22,000 disposable gloves to be used by NHS and other workers on the frontline. We hope that they will help to alleviate some of the pressure on resources in the short term.”

“We are also fortunate that amongst the highly skilled personnel in the School of Chemistry, we have several teams working on other COVID-19 related projects that we hope will lead to positive impacts in the very near future. I have been really impressed by the level of commitment from the individuals involved and the strongly collaborative approach in the University.”

The Southampton Coronavirus Response Fund has been set up to support and accelerate the University’s urgent work in tackling the global pandemic.

In one project, engineers and medical staff are working with industry partners including McLaren and Kemp Sails to test a prototype of a personal respirator they have developed for frontline healthcare staff.

Researchers in the Faculty of Medicine are also trialling an inhaled drug that could prevent worsening of COVID-19 in those most at risk.

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