Milton Keynes manufacturer adapts production to support Bedford Hospital

British luxury leather-goods maker Tusting helps the NHS

By Holly Patel
Thursday, 7th May 2020, 4:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th May 2020, 4:23 pm

A Milton Keynes leather-goods manufacturer is helping to make vital PPE garments for the NHS trust at Bedford Hospital, earning itself a commendation by the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire in the process.

Having already cut 110 pairs of scrubs, the workshop is now in the process of cutting 1550 surgical gowns, to be sewn together by a local network of domestic sewers.

Forced to halt production at their luxury leather goods factory, Tusting’s staff are currently furloughed. However, in response to a call to help fight the battle against Covid-19 and repay the sacrifices of NHS staff in even the smallest of ways, members of the team have been volunteering their time to cut the scrubs and surgical gowns, before they are distributed amongst volunteer sewers from the area.

Members of the team have been volunteering their time to cut the scrubs and surgical gowns.

The initiative has been coordinated thanks to the efforts of Bedford Hospital Charity and Friends, Queens Park Community Orchard, Colum and Eric Masih, Dr Robert Oakley and Tusting Managing Director, Alistair Tusting.

Alistair Tusting, Tusting MD, said: “Tusting has played a significant role in the local area for over 100 years.

"Working together with the local community in order to support our essential frontline staff at Bedford Hospital is a privilege at this moment of crisis and the very least we could do.”

The first 1000 surgical gowns are for single-use purpose and are made from non-woven textile, donated by Zhagum Arshad’s Loft 25 Ltd, a Birmingham-based furnishings company.

Milton Keynes manufacturer adapts production to support Bedford Hospital

This will be followed by a further 550 machine washable gowns, made possible thanks to the competencies of historic Dundee mill, Halley Stevensons (HS).

HS pioneered a new and innovative cloth in response to the crisis that enables gowns to be reused up to 12 times.

Jimmy Campbell, MD of Halley Stevensons, said: "We have un-furloughed 7 members of our team in order to produce cloth for both scrubs and surgical gowns. We are grateful that we can apply our skills, resources and innovation at this crucial time to make a difference.”

Members of the team have been volunteering their time to cut the scrubs and surgical gowns