A movie model-maker inundated with requests for coronavirus masks has expressed his frustration that PPE is not being able to find its way to the frontline through official channels.
Angus man Steve Wild has been churning out protective equipment on the 3D printer at his home near Arbroath, previously used to create film figures including an eight-foot tall Iron Man Hulkbuster suit.
He launched a Face Shields for Heroes crowdfunder to bring in vital cash for the raw materials to make the PPE in response to widespread claims those dealing with the pandemic are struggling to secure enough equipment.
But with the money running out, Steve is frustrated he has not been able to unlock any more financial support or an official link with the health authorities to maximise his production.
“I have had requests from across Scotland and I am making as many masks as I can, but I have emailed NHS Tayside and been ignored and I just don’t understand why they are turning this help down,” said the former Royal Marine.
“If I could get funding I could buy more 3D machines – which when this is over could be donated to schools – and I reckon I could be capable of making 5,000 units per month.
“I have supplied paramedics who say they are having to work with no PPE and dealing with Covid-19 patients, and people who work in other sectors including care are coming straight to me for masks.
“The masks I am producing are to a pattern and specification that has been used all around the world but I’m being told they are not suitable.
“This is like someone who is barefoot being offered shoes and rejecting them because they might not be able to run a marathon in them. Let’s get them some footwear so they can at least walk first,” said Steve.
NHS Tayside has set up a dedicated email address for anyone wishing to supply PPE or other equipment.
The health body said: “Specialist PPE such as respirator masks used in clinical settings need to meet special standards and must be fit-tested to each member of staff using specialist kits. Many other types of protective equipment and supplies are designed to be used in clinical settings to ensure the highest levels of protection for our staff. That is why we need to be very diligent in what we accept.
“If you do wish to help us with supplies of PPE or equipment please contact us using the firstname.lastname@example.org”
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