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The subject of personal protective equipment (PPE) has become a contentious one, with many healthcare professionals complaining that they do not have access to enough of the safety gear.
It is not just a question of sourcing PPE, but also making sure that those who do get hold of protective face shields and face masks know what to do with them.
Channel giant SCC has teamed up with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help Cambridge University Hospitals (CUH) launch a free-of-charge national PPE training website.
The hospitals had a need for training staff on how to put on and remove PPE correctly to make sure they did not contract or spread coronavirus. A website designed for local use had been built before the lockdown, but with the need for national support now paramount, SCC has stepped into help architect and deploy the infrastructure to run the website in AWS.
SCC used specialists from its public cloud practice to turn the project around in 48 hours, with teams here and in Vietnam volunteering their time outside office hours to make it possible.
SCC chief executive James Rigby said the project was another example to add to the growing list of actions taken by the IT industry to provide assistance during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
“This is one of many examples of SCC and other businesses in the UK and abroad coming together in the most challenging of times to support the fantastic work of our NHS – and I am particularly proud of this project due to the direct influence it will have on saving lives,” he said.
James Rigby, SCC
Rigby added that SCC had taken steps to make sure its business and staff were protected to ensure that “as a critical provider of services” it could continue to help customers through the coronavirus pandemic.
“We will continue to support CUH and the PPE training website for as long as necessary. I’d also like to further congratulate SCC’s public cloud practice, and Wenceslyne [Ong] and Jacek [Falatowicz] individually, for their outstanding efforts,” he said.
Matthew Butler, a consultant geriatrician, said it was important to make sure those facing some of the greatest risks understood how to be protected.
“The support from us, frontline health workers fighting Covid-19, and our local community, goes to other health workers around the country. Our aim is to do our bit to keep NHS staff safe. I want to extend my warmest heartfelt thanks; I will be forever grateful for all the efforts of SCC,” he said.
In a statement supporting the website and highlighting its value, the Health and Safety Executive said: “Knowing what PPE to wear and having PPE in stock in this pandemic is only part of the picture; training staff in the correct use of PPE is equally vital.”
Since the coronavirus crisis started, more than one billion items of PPE have been shipped to NHS staff, with Department of Health and Social Care numbers, quoted on the BBC website, showing that 132 million masks, 145 million aprons, 1.2 million gowns and 470 million gloves have been distributed since 25 February.