Companies around the UK are responding to pleas by NHS hospitals and care homes for more personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff.
While engineering firms with 3D printers are making parts for facemasks, and major concerns such as Dyson, JCB and Mercedes Formula 1 are reengineering and manufacturing ventilators, clothing manufacturers are switching their production lines over to making gowns and other items.
Which is why the latest delivery to be received by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead was emblazoned with the royal coat of arms.
J Barbour & Sons, founded in 1894. is based four miles from the hospital at South Shields on Tyneside, where it normally makes its famous jackets. However, it is now making pale blue hospital gowns in its factory, which is the proud possessor of three royal warrants, from HM the Queen, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh and HRH the Prince of Wales. All three badges were on the bags containing the gowns delivered to Gateshead.
The hospital’s deputy director Lewis Atkinson tweeted: “Much excitement at receipt of our first batch of ‘by royal appointment’ gowns from @Barbour – thank you so much, we especially love the proper Barbour cuffs!
“Fantastic to see how the whole region is working together to support NHS.”
Microbiology consultant Dr Alice Wort added: “Thank you @Barbour. You thoroughly deserve these royal crests.
“The quality of these new gowns is amazing. They mean so much to our staff. Proud of our British manufacturers.”
Other local manufacturers have also been quick to help the Queen Elizabeth hospital with additional PPE to help protect staff. Labman Automation has supplied facemasks while Premier Vets donated more gowns.