Police shields to be turned into essential PPE for local hospitals
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Officers from Northamptonshire Police’s Operations Team are helping to provide essential personal protection equipment (PPE) to their colleagues in the local NHS Trust.
Following an audit of the Force’s public order equipment, the team unearthed more than 50 redundant shields, including 30 which were bought nearly two decades ago, to provide police support to the prison service.
However, the proposed industrial action didn’t take place and as the 7ft Armadillo shields were designed for a very specific function, the stock became surplus to requirements and abandoned in storage - until now!
With such plastic materials in high demand due to the Covid-19 pandemic, officers have delivered the shields to Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust and Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust to be repurposed into PPE.
The shields will be used to create plastic screens in the reception and clinical areas at both hospitals, as well as at the Corby Urgent Care Centre and other community outpatient clinics.
Chief Firearms Instructor, Inspector Steve Freeman, said: “We bought the shields in 2002 for a specific operation, which didn’t go ahead, and as we do not use full-length static shields for public order training, they were placed in storage.
“It wasn’t until we carried out the recent audit that we found the shields were no longer fit for purpose as public order equipment. With clear plastic material in such high demand, we didn’t want to just throw them away.
“We are really pleased the shields are going to be recycled and turned into much-needed PPE to help protect not only our NHS colleagues but also some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”
Northampton General Hospital’s Director of Estates and Facilities, Stuart Finn said: “Thank you to Northamptonshire Police for their support in donating these shields to us. It’s a great example of how working together with our local partners can benefit our community.
“It’s also fantastic to be able to take items which were originally designed for a different kind of protection and repurpose it in a new way to protect patients and staff at the hospital.”
Kettering General Hospital’s Director of Facilities and Estates, Ian Allen said: “We have gratefully accepted 15 of the shields kindly offered to us by Northamptonshire Police and want to thank them very much for their thoughtful donation.
“We are modifying the shields as appropriate to help us to further improve the personal protection of our staff and patients – for example as screens in areas such as receptions.”