Surgical instrument manufacturer to package and sterilise PPE for NHS

Single Use Surgical, part of Eakin Healthcare Group, has signed a contract to package and sterilise 1.92 million surgical isolation gowns – a move that will create 45 new jobs and protect frontline NHS staff against COVID-19.

The project is well under way, with weekly deliveries into NHS England having already started this month. The Welsh surgical manufacturer, who usually designs and manufactures single-use surgical equipment, is using its specialist knowledge and expertise to provide packaging and ethylene oxide (EO) sterilisation services.

The protective equipment is manufactured by Survitec, a British manufacturer of personal survival equipment who contacted Single Use Surgical in April after hearing about the company’s EO capabilities. The two companies quickly established a good relationship over Microsoft Teams during lockdown and progressed to dispatching gowns this month.

The partnership will see Single Use Surgical recruit up to 45 people to support the operation over the next year. These positions will be temporary but could be made permanent if the demand for PPE continues. Single Use Surgical say the move is a step away from their usual business but welcome the opportunity and the challenge. 

Speaking about the partnership, Head of International Sales and Business Development, Michael Denver said: “It is an absolute pleasure to engage with Survitec Group and support the national effort for PPE. Due to the time scales involved, we have worked together to complete a year’s worth of work in 5 weeks. This is a new venture for us, but we were able to leverage our capabilities as a manufacturer of single-use surgical equipment to support the project.

“There is a clear desire to provide our NHS with PPE and other equipment from manufacturers that are based and fully operational within the UK. We have all seen the challenges of importing such equipment and it’s a good reminder of the skills and expertise we have within the Medical Device sector in the UK.”