Peterlee company working 'flat out' to supply Nightingale hospitals

Testing equipment to check kit being used to care for coronavirus patients is rolling off the production line for NHS Nightingale hospitals – as well as medical teams across the world.

Tuesday, 21st April 2020, 11:09 am

Peterlee firm Seaward makes electrical safety test equipment and is concentrating its efforts to supply kit to hospitals, including the temporary hospitals set up to help meet the demand for treatment.

The North East is to get its own based next to the Nissan plant in Sunderland.

Bosses say shifts have been “hectic”, but the team is dedicated to the task as a “thank you” to the medics helping save lives, with equipment also being sent across Europe and China.

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A one-way system has been put in place at the Seaward factory in Peterlee as part of social distancing rules to keep staff safe.

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The company, based on the South West Industrial Estate, builds electrical safety testing equipment for ventilators to hospital beds, hoists and pumps via its medical arm, Rigel Medical, with social distancing rules now imposed to help keep workers safe.

The company has said the greatest call has been to test ventilators, as new and old are being used in treating patients.

Seaward employees John Harrison and Keith Wood work on manufacturing vital equipment.

Managing director Andrew Upton said: “We are supplying to the UK and the rest of the world and our team is working flat out to cope with demand.

“We see it as our way of being able to say ‘thank you’ to the NHS.

“We have been working on behalf of the Cabinet Office commissioners to supply products to Nightingale Hospitals and through firms such as Mercedes, Ford, Rolls-Royce, Dyson and McLaren, who are also part of the effort.

“Although it has been hectic, and we have been producing and selling five times as much of this type of equipment, we have had to abandon everything else for the time being to concentrate of what is so urgently needed.

Hearts made by Felix Felts.

“Our employees are more than happy to work.

“They understand the immediate need for this equipment, and that we have put in place the best possible measures to protect them.

“They actually think it is great that they can play their part in supporting the NHS in some way during this national crisis and are proud to be among those people who have stepped up to help.”

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