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Factory turns its hand to PPE

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A FACTORY in Dumfries has been converted to provide specialist protective gowns and aprons for frontline staff.

Berry BPI, one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of polythene film, have adapted their factory at College Road to help boost supplies of PPE for NHS workers. And along with their Scottish sister site in Greenock and two Berry BPI factories in England, the firm are on track to produce 200,000 special fluid-resistant, long sleeve gowns and over six million standard disposable aprons every week. Berry BPI is a long-standing NHS supplier and produced the majority of clinical waste sacks used in hospitals prior to lockdown. Their extensive experience meant they were the obvious choice for the NHS procurement team who were looking for a UK-based supplier for apron-style gowns, which provide a higher level of all-round protection for use in more critical clinical situations.

Although they had not made an apron-style gown before, they were able to create a design, produce the film and cut-out and fabricate a sample within two weeks. For standard aprons, the firm sourced and shipped specialist machines to their factories where production is due to begin shortly.

Berry BPI chief executive Andrew Green said: “We have deliberately taken a long-term approach. We were able to call on our extensive resources and experience, as well as the flexibility and commitment of our workforce, to produce the aprons within an extremely fast turnaround to help make up shortfalls in the current supply chain. At the same time we intend to scale up production so that after the immediate needs of the coronavirus crisis, we can continue to offer a cost-effective local supply solution that will be able to meet as much as possible of UK demand.”


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