Coronavirus: Cheshire businessman's anger as PPE offer 'ignored'

Image source, Paul Dodd
Image caption,
Paul Dodd says he has had to stop production of visors due to mounting costs

A businessman has been left angry after his offer of 450 visors a day to the NHS has apparently been ignored.

Paul Dodd says he has spent £8,000 on materials and wages for the work but after four weeks has been forced to stop.

Mr Dodd, owner of Weaver Dane and Trade in Cheshire, said: "I knew there was a risk buying materials but I thought I was doing the right thing by helping."

The government said it was "rapidly working through 8,000 offers".

NHS workers are concerned about supplies, and have been asked to consider reusing some equipment.

Mr Dodd, who said he had already donated 2,300 visors to local hospitals as part of a separate crowdfunding project, said he made the offer to manufacture visors on the government's website.

He employs nine people and said he had sourced the necessary materials for the work before they sold out and started work on a further 1,300 visors which are stockpiled and ready to go.

He spoke of his "frustration" and "disbelief", adding: "I've heard heartbreaking stories, with [NHS staff] in tears."

After setting up a Facebook page publicising his efforts, Mr Dodd said he was contacted individually by a surgeon, who asked for 75 visors.

The surgeon said he was not prepared to go to work without them, and later emailed to thank him, saying he had carried out a "cardiac procedure" and saved a woman's life, Mr Dodd explained.

Mr Dodd, who said he had sent samples of the visors to the government testing house, said was "too much red tape" and people were "passing the buck".

The Cabinet Office said in a statement: "We are incredibly grateful for over 8,000 offers of support from suppliers as part of the national effort to ensure appropriate PPE is reaching the front line.

"We are working rapidly to get through these offers, ensuring they meet the safety and quality standards that our NHS and social care workers need, and prioritising offers of larger volumes."

A spokesperson added it had already engaged with over 1,000 companies and was currently working with 159 potential UK manufacturers.

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