Leeds manufacturer to supply equipment to emergency Excel hospital
A Leeds healthcare manufacturer is supplying equipment to the new emergency hospital being created in London.
Staff at Herida Healthcare are working around the clock to make thousands of specialist mattresses. With funding support from the LEP, the initial delivery will be to the NHS Nightingale hospital in London's ExCel Centre, today (Friday 27 March).
The air-pump mattresses are designed to reduce the chance of patients developing bedsores and are usually sold to NHS trusts and long-term care homes across the UK and abroad.
Company founder, Neil Smith said that everyone at the company wanted to help the NHS as much as they could.
Roger Marsh OBE DL, Chair of LEP and NP11 said:
"The swift response by Herida Healthcare to this national call for such an urgent national need is real testament to the region's manufacturing capability. They are just one of many local businesses who are fundamentally changing their operations to assist at this difficult time, and we must all thank all of those smart people who are driving forward solutions for the national effort."
Military personnel have been involved in setting up the new hospital in London’s Docklands, which will initially have 500 beds, increasing to 4,000 to cope with the expected increase in COVID-19 patients.
Staff at Herida Healthcare are working shifts over 24 hours to fulfil the initial order, with more coming in. All staff are wearing PPE and carrying out social distancing.
Neil Smith, Founder of Herida Healthcare said:
“While we all really appreciate the work the NHS does at its centre, the response to COVID-19 needs a chain of suppliers who provide critical links. This includes delivery drivers taking it there, packers, mattress welders, cutters, administrative staff working from home and all others in between.
“Our staff are working so hard and we are all a bit exhausted as we have turned this round in 72 hours, but morale is very high as they are so proud to take part.”
The company was set up in 2016 and has grown rapidly with support from organisations including the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP), Leeds City Council and AD:Venture. Herida has 42 members of staff and expanded into a new 30,000 sq. ft factory in Morley only a few months ago.
Cllr Judith Blake, Leader of Leeds City Council said:
“This is great news for Herida Healthcare, and I am really proud to see a local up-and-coming company doing its bit to help the national effort.
“UK manufacturing will be a crucial part of tackling this crisis and it shows how the whole country is pulling together to help each other in a time of need.”