Welsh Government Innovation supports Hardshell UK Ltd to manufacture masks and respirators in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposal meets with calls from politicians and senior health officials about the need to create an indigenous PPE and medical supplies industry to safeguard against future shortages.
Filtering Face Piece (FFP) respirators and Type-IIR facemasks are part of the UK healthcare’s recommended PPE. FFP respirators are required during aerosol generating procedures in Intensive Care Units, Intensive Therapy Units and High Dependency Units handling COVID-19 patients. Type-IIR facemasks are required for all other areas.
Hardshell UK Ltd is in the process of setting up a facility in Cardiff for the manufacture of masks and respirators to meet the demand from government agencies, hospitals and the public. Some of the products include Type IIR masks, FFP2 and FFP3 respirators, face coverings and fabric masks.
If successful, the project has the potential to reduce the spread of the virus and will provide security in the supply of face masks to the NHS in Wales and wider UK, and the care sector. The company has established its first presence in Wales and if successful will employ around 40 people. Hardshell UK Ltd have committed to explore tackling the problem of large volumes waste resulting from the increasing demand for PPE. The project will create long term sustainable growth and contribute to the company’s and Wales’s resilience with regard to local PPE production.
Hardshell has been actively involved in the research and development of masks and respirators since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak. They have been assisted to develop their current products to reach the required standards of filtration, breathability and quality.