COVID-19: furloughed staff return to make scrubs

Staff furloughed at an embroidery firm on Anglesey are returning to work to assemble medical scrubs for the NHS.

Up to fifteen workers at Llangefni-based Brodwaith are helping to make fresh supplies of much needed personal protection equipment (PPE) amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

The Welsh Government says its one of three sites across the country that have reopened to help with the sewing of garments and production. It’s understood all employees are now back on full pay.

Deputy Economy Minister, Lee Waters, said: ”Ensuring our healthcare heroes have the equipment they need to do their jobs at this unprecedented time is of paramount importance.”

“We are working hard to supply the NHS as it provides high-quality care for people with coronavirus, and we will continue to do so.

”We have also been able to foster an opportunity to secure supply of much needed material and join together three Welsh enterprises to join us in fighting this national health crisis. Together, we will continue to protect frontline staff and in turn help them save lives.”

Ministers say they took immediate action to secure fabric from the UK market – enough to produce up to 2,500 scrubs a week – when it emerged production in the Far East and sub-continent would be scaled back at the end of last month.

The fabric was passed onto Alexandra, a company which supplies the NHS with scrubs but is heavily reliant on overseas markets for both material and production.

In turn, the Welsh Government linked Alexandra with businesses and social enterprises which could help produce new scrubs. 28 machinists are also back at work at Elite Clothing Solutions in Ebbw Vale and Workplace Worksafe in Ruthin.

Andrea Wayman, CEO at Elite Clothing Solutions said they were ”extremely proud to be supporting the NHS, through a collaborative approach with other Welsh manufacturers, in our production of garments that will help protect NHS staff in the fight against COVID-19.”

”As a social enterprise, our key aim is the support of our communities, and the NHS and care sector are currently central to our communities’ needs.”

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