Liverpool Hope University has shipped thousands items of crucial PPE to hospitals in the city, in a gesture of solidarity during the Covid-19 crisis.
The Personal protective equipment (PPE) has been sourced from the University’s School of Health Sciences laboratories and comprises some 16,000 pairs of gloves.
It was this week sent to the Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust - which oversees The Royal, Aintree and Broadgreen hospitals.
And it comes amid growing concern about shortages of PPE for NHS staff across the UK, and reports frontline workers are having to wash and reuse items.
The University’s Professor Michael Lavalette, Head of the School of Social Sciences and who’s helped launch the initiative, says: “Our NHS and medical staff are doing an incredible job in exceptional circumstances and we want to help them in any way we can.
“As a University, we realised that we had a significant amount of PPE in reserve and held on campus, typically used in a lab setting.
“We’ve now made available that available to the Liverpool University Hospitals Foundation Trust, where it can be distributed to the wards and units in the city who need it most during these difficult days.
“It’s a small gesture from us, but one we hope signals solidarity in this time of crisis.”
The move comes in a week where BBC’s Panorama programme heavily criticised the Government for failing to adequately stockpile PPE when it began to do so in 2009, potentially putting frontline workers at risk.
Meanwhile Liverpool Hope University is supporting the NHS in other ways, too.
Earlier this month a project was launched to supply nurses on wards across Liverpool with free hand cream, in a bid to soothe skin left cracked and painful from repeated washing.
Co-organiser Fiona Hough, a former ITU and A&E nurse who works in the External Relations department at Hope, called for £4 donations from the public, which could be used to purchase hand lotion.
And after receiving more than £3,000 in donations so far, nurses are now receiving the first batches of the soothing product that have been ordered.
Fiona says: “Nurses and other NHS frontline staff are working heroically to keep us all safe during these testing times, and our small gesture is simply the least we can do to help make their lives more comfortable.
“Hope, as a University, is committed to giving something back to the community in which we operate, and it’s vital we support our selfless NHS workers at this time.”
The initiative comes thanks to a partnership with Body Shop At Home, who are supplying the hand cream.
Lisa Mottram, Data Analyst at Hope and who’s also part of the donation project, says Body Shop At Home is waiving any commission, and instead putting it back into the donation pot.
She adds: “It’s been quite emotional seeing the project finally coming to fruition and we’re delighted the hand cream is now making its way to these vital wards.”