Volunteers at Imperial College London use Hackspace solution to supply PPE for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust Hospitals

Over 50,000 disposable visors are being made by volunteers at Imperial College London.

The project is led by Imperial’s Advanced Hackspace, which is designed to ‘facilitate collaboration, innovation and experimentation’.

The project is also led by the NIHR Health Protection research Unit in Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance.

‘The trust’s infection prevention and control team have worked closely with the Hackspace team to develop, optimise and evaluate the visors’ to ensure the equipment’s quality and safe for use.

Dr Bob Klaber, director of strategy, research and innovation at the Trust said:

“The amazing spirit of innovation, volunteering and collaboration between Imperial College and the Trust has produced a very high-quality piece of personal protective equipment at a significant scale and outstanding value.

“This innovative engineering-led project has certainly provided us with a sustainable local supply chain that we can continue to develop in order to help with our ongoing response to the coronavirus pandemic.”

Professor Alison Holmes, Director of Infection Control at the Trust and Director of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit in Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance at said:

“This project is an outstanding example of collaborative working across Imperial College London and the Trust to increase supplies of critical PPE.”

6,500 visors have already been delivered to Charing Cross Hospital with thousands more being delivered in the coming weeks.

The visors will be in use across all five hospital sites.

The Translation and Innovation HUB (I-HUB) at Imperial College London has been converted to allow volunteers to safely assemble the visors.

The materials for the first 7,000 visors was provided by Rolls Royce Motor Cars.

Professor Nick Jennings, Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise) said:

“This is a remarkable effort which shows the power of institutions coming together at a time of great need.

“It shows great speed of action and the willingness of volunteers to rally to a common cause.

“Imperial has committed to doing all we can to help to respond to the pandemic, and I am proud to see our community and our NHS Trust colleagues rise so admirably to this challenge”

Head of Hackspace, Graham Hewson said:

“The Advanced Hackspace team are well positioned to support this project, enterprising in their efforts to rapidly develop and assemble the early stage prototypes and plan for scaling.

“I am extremely proud of all the team for their continued collaboration, hard work and dedication to this project.”