Medex Scientific (UK)’s significant investment in a new PPE manufacturing plant, in partnership with PrimePac Solutions in Ebbw Vale, South Wales, launched today, satisfying the fast-growing PPE mask demand from all parts of the UK economy.
The investment is aimed specifically at providing the company’s MediMask brand to:
- UK employers in retail, transport, manufacturing, education and the diverse hospitality sector, aiding them all as they deliver safer environments for employees, customers, visitors and passengers, as the UK economy targets recovery and its furloughed workforce returns to work
Against the backdrop of the newly introduced 1m+ rule now replacing previous 2m social distancing guidelines, employers of all sizes are having to introduce safer, socially distanced working environments, whether that be at the office, on the production line or engineering shop floor, to the local rail ticketing office, school, car showroom or supermarket shopping aisles.
In particular, this includes the beleaguered hospitality sector’s local restaurants, bars and hairdressers and barbers across the UK that are now open for business once again, as well as outdoor dance, music and theatre events, fitness facilities and gyms, and other beauty treatment providers across the UK that are now starting to re-open.
So, with the high street becoming busier and with face mask wearing now compulsory on UK public transport as well as in retail malls and shops, there is growing ‘socially responsible’ sentiment for everyone to wear face masks for the foreseeable future.
Chris Sale, Commercial Lead at Medex, explained, “Consumer facing retail and hospitality businesses, schools and colleges and those B2B enterprises with offices, factories and depots that interact with outside suppliers and visitors all have the same challenge; ensuring their staff, pupils, visitors, passengers and retail customers are in a mutually safe environment whilst travelling to, from and whilst at work or at school or college and when out on the high street.”
Nick Wood, Project MD, added, “Feedback from our research confirmed that easily sourced, low cost, suitable face covering supply is the only way for the UK economy to kickstart again safely for the foreseeable future. Equally, no one wants to see a second wave after the sacrifices we have all collectively made during lockdown in this fight against COVID-19.”
Medex thoroughly analysed the potential demand for PPE masks with key stakeholders in the UK business community and three themes came through strongly from phone and email research. Participants included a range of employers as well as Trade Unions, passenger and retail Consumer interest groups, plus local and national government bodies. The three themes were:
- A sustained back to normal economic output could only be achieved by ensuring the mutual wellbeing and safety of employees, customers, passengers, students and visitors alike – and that means affordable face masks and hand sanitiser products combined with safe social distancing regimes.
- A reliable, sustainable and fairly priced PPE equipment supply chain independent of global supply and demand factors was essential to safe working, shopping, travelling and entertainment environments for consumers, businesses, visitors, tourists and passengers alike.
- A fair pricing policy with high quality ‘made in the UK’ standards compliance and proven, equipment performance as a ‘must have.’
Consequently, Medex Scientific have begun large scale manufacture of Type IIR Fluid Resistant face masks for adults and children. The masks are Made in the UK by Primepac Solutions at their plant in Ebbw Vale, Wales and meet the required standard of EN14683:2019 and CE Certifications, with a Bacteria Filtration Efficiency (BFE) of ≥ 98%.
Assurances that mask production did not in any way impinge on the established NHS supply chain was also a key concern for many and the fact that masks were Made in the UK was received very positively with regard to ‘standards’ and ‘reliability’. Trade organisations and a range of local and national government departments such as the HSE, TfL, DfT and the Department for Work & Pensions were involved in the white paper study – copies available on request.