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GPs come together to share homemade PPE amid shortage

GPs are sharing homemade personal protective equipment (PPE), in attempts to compensate for the ongoing supply problems.

Regions across the country are benefitting from the efforts, which coincide with many practices frustrated with the insufficient supply they have received from NHS England.

Dr Stephanie deGiorgio, a GP in Kent, said: ‘Next batch of 3D printer visors going out. Canterbury GPs. They are at Northgate and they should be getting in touch to distribute.’

Bath GP Dr Alex Gates posted on Twitter: ‘A patient with a 3D printer has volunteered to batch-make visors for us to use for Covid-19 – such brilliant community spirit displayed in this crisis, everyone coming together.’

Schools, which are largely closed due to Covid-19, are also collaborating with practices.

In Surrey, Cranleigh School’s Design Technology department provided the nearby Shere Surgery with perspex, while Barrow Hill School transported 3D visors to the county’s Care Collaborative PCN. 

Dr Dave Triska described this as ‘a big community effort’, leading to ‘PPE in GP surgeries across Surrey’.

Greater Manchester practice Boundary House Medical Centre thanked Bolton’s Ladybridge High School for manufacturing protective face shields for their staff. It said: ‘Great to see education and the NHS working side by side’.

Balcarras School in Cheltenham is also creating design resources into 3D face shields for a local health centre.

Meanwhile, more than 1,400 3D-printer owners have promised to use their machines to help make face shields for the NHS. 

The 3DCrowd UK group, launched by Dr James Coxon, allows healthcare settings, such as GP practices, to request visors.

It is understood that thousands have been delivered already.

It comes as GPs trying to access NHS England’s ‘emergency’ PPE have been told to buy their own; after a CCG issued the same message.