The Royal Mint has announced that it will begin manufacturing medical visors for the NHS after developing a successful prototype to help protect frontline care workers. The first batch of visors are already in use at The Royal Glamorgan Hospital in South Wales.
The Royal Mint, usually known for making coins, bullion and gifts, has a state of the art manufacturing facility in Llantrisant. Engineers at the site were keen to support NHS workers, and began searching for medical equipment which could be easily produced on site.
The team found a rudimentary design for a medical visor online, and began developing high specification prototypes – turning the concept into an approved design in just 48 hours. In addition, The Royal Mint has been supplying the local NHS with other essential PPE equipment from its stores, and offering Project Management support.
The visors will initially be made available to Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board Wales, but The Royal Mint says it can produce thousands per day subject to securing enough raw components. It is now appealing for manufacturers across the UK to help source 1.0mm PET clear plastic which is currently in low supply.
Leighton John, Director of Operations for The Royal Mint said: “My sister works for the NHS and it really focuses your mind on the challenges they are facing, and the opportunity we have to support them.
“On Wednesday at 9am we knew nothing about medical visors, but we set our engineers the task of developing essential medical equipment which could be easily made on site – within seven hours they’d created a medical visor, and within 48 hours it was approved for mass manufacture. We’ll shortly post the specifications on our website to enable other firms to make them too.
“We are now developing the production line, and urgently calling for help to source 1.0mm PET clear plastic which is in low supply across the UK. We believe firms will have this in stock, and we’d urge them to get in touch with us so we can continue to support our NHS.”
Dr Sharon Hopkins, CEO of Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB, said: “We are incredibly grateful to the Royal Mint for this work. This equipment will be vitally important for our frontline staff to protect themselves and others as they work to respond to the COVID19 pandemic. It is also an excellent example of teams working collaboratively to provide safer environments for our staff and patients.
“The generosity of organisations such as the Royal Mint as well as our communities has been humbling and I would like to thank everyone for their continued support for our staff and the NHS.”
The Royal Mint has worked with its key suppliers – including Brammer, TJ Morgan and Technical Foam Services– to source the components needed to make the visors.