Bolton Evening News: Bolton firm helps lead fight against coronavirus

Healthcare product manufacturer Vernacare is working round the clock to keep up with demand from around the world for its sanitising wipes and other infection control products to be used in hospitals.

Since the coronavirus pandemic began earlier this year, Vernacare has been ramping up production and it has now increased to 60 percent more than normal.

The company employs 300 people based at its sites in Folds Road, Bolton and Buckshaw Village and while most office staff and confined to working from home, 180 production employees are working flat out, in shifts around the clock, to produce disinfecting wipes, disposable bedpans and urinals and hospital macerators to get rid of waste safely.

In total more than 200 million disposable bedpans, made of pulp paper, are sent out annually and around 30,000 packets of wipes are produced every eight hours.

Hakeem Adebiyi, Vernacare’s international sales and marketing director, says everyone is proud to be playing their part in helping combat the virus.

“Morale is really high,” said Mr Adebiyi. “We see ourselves as a British company supporting the frontline staff in the NHS.”

After dealing with increased demand from other virus outbreaks, when word first came out of China about coronavirus, Vernacare started implementing plans to increase output.

“We didn’t think it was going to be as big as this when we started planning,” said Mr Adebiyi.

Among the first orders was a consignment of disinfectant wipes set to Wuhan, China, and since then requests have been flooding in.

“People have been ringing out of the blue seeing if we can help,” said Mr Adebiyi.

As well as the isolation wards of UK hospitals, products have been helping in countries such as Spain and Italy, where one delivery even featured on the TV news.

“Our production lines are working flat out,” said Mr Adebiyi, who added that the company is proud to be supplying the new NHS Nightingale Hospital being set up at the ExCel Centre in London’s Docklands.

“People feel like we’re all in this together,” said Mr Adebiyi. “It’s a concerted British effort to help people and we are playing our part.”



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