Wind farm and college step in to provide PPE for Western Isles NHS

Chris Anne Campbell and Tony Robson with the first batch of visors

Staff from Lews Castle College and wind farm charity Point and Sandwick Trust have worked together to produce PPE for local NHS doctors and nurses.

The work was made possible thanks to facilities at the college’s Innovation Centre, which is sponsored by the community wind farm charity.

Visors to help protect frontline staff from contracting coronavirus have been made using a 3D printer and were delivered to the health board’s Chris Anne Campbell by Point and Sandwick Trust’s engineering consultant, Tony Robson.

Six visor headbands, and packs of disposable clear plastic sheets to form the faceshields, were handed over after college staff, working in partnership with Tony Robson and Point and Sandwick Trust’s development manager, Calum Macdonald, came up with the PPE solution.

In total 100 of the visors have been pledged to NHS Western Isles.

Gordon Jamieson, NHS Western Isles chief executive, said: “We would like to thank all those involved in producing these visors. We are extremely grateful for these pieces of important PPE which will help ensure our staff are kept safe over the coming weeks and months.

Tony Robson added: “We are supplementing what’s available to ensure that everybody has the opportunity to use a protective visor if they want. Staff seemed quite keen on it; they seemed to like the design, so that’s good. There can’t be enough of these things and staff feel a bit more reassured if they have a visor, rather than just a mask. It’s a common sense solution – made locally.”.”

Point and Sandwick Trust, which runs the Beinn Ghrideag wind farm near Stornoway for the sole benefit of the community, funded the expansion of the Innovation Centre at the Lews Castle College UHI campus, and the purchase of its first 3D printer, back in 2018 – an investment which subsequently levered in more funding from the Outer Hebrides LEADER project.