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Coronavirus: Birmingham NHS trust 'inundated' after PPE sewing appeal

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image captionThe trust posted on social media on Friday asking for "urgently needed" gowns

An NHS trust has been "inundated" with responses after it appealed for the public to sew personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff.

Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust posted on social media on Friday asking for "urgently needed" gowns.

They had hoped to receive 50 offers of help but by Monday had received more than 1,200, a trust spokesman said.

The response shows "strong community spirit", the trust spokesman added.

According to official advice, anyone who comes into close contact with those who may have coronavirus should wear protection, though the type of PPE required depends on the level of risk.

The original appeal, posted on Facebook, had amassed nearly 2,000 shares by Monday, and was also posted on Twitter.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Local design company Loft 25 created the first batch of gowns after spotting the online appeal.

Posting on Facebook on Saturday, the firm said it was "scaling up [production] massively" this week in order "to fulfil the shortages being experienced in Birmingham".

The trust is now working with the firm to develop further designs that can also be followed by members of the public, which it described as an "army of volunteers".

"We're very grateful for this response and the strong community spirit it shows", the trust said.

"Keeping our staff safe is a top priority, it's gratifying that people from across the same communities we work hard to keep safe and healthy day-in, day-out, are rallying round us to help achieve that."

Another trust, Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust, also took to social media to thank donors for creating uniform wash bags for its workers.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

It comes as the chief executive of NHS Providers said there was "no doubt" some hospital trusts already had gown shortages.

Public Health England changed its advice on Friday to allow the NHS to reuse gowns if stock was running low.

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