A world-leading orthopaedic centre has received its first shipment of John Lyon PPE, in an effort led by one of the School’s Teachers of Physics.
The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Stanmore received the shipment of plastic visors, made by Dr Florence Weinberg at her home over the Easter holidays, using a 3D printer commandeered by her from the School.
But far from stopping there, Dr Weinberg has a full order book, with more visors set to be sent to another hospital and GPs as far away as Luton.
The process of design and manufacture of the plastic components proved a steep learning curve, from understanding the workings of the School’s new 3D printer, accessing models used by others and approved for use in clinical settings, sourcing all the materials needed, and getting useful tips from online teacher forums.
To begin, each set of four John Lyon PPE would take 16 hours to complete, but Dr Weinberg was able to get this to 90 minutes, with tweaks to the design and process.
Following the first delivery to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, whose staff were happy to pose for a photo with their new equipment, the orders continue.
Dr Weinberg, who also coordinates the John Lyon Excellence Programme said: “I have been making ten full visors a day and have delivered all of them to various people, and have orders for all of next week.
“Today I have 20 in a box to go to a GP surgery in Luton and over the weekend will be making a box of 12 for a doctor and his team at the Royal Free who needs them for Sunday. Next week someone will be collecting the next 30 for doctors in Barnet. I had thought about slowing down but doctors and nurses need them so I will continue making them until they are not needed anymore.
“To be honest, I did not quite believe they would be so useful. It is hard to believe that one can make at home something that can save lives. But hearing nurses and doctors tell me that the quality of those masks are so much better than the ones they currently have, makes me sad and drives me to try and make as many as possible. These people are risking their lives every day and it is the minimum I can do to help.
“D&T teachers in the country have been absolutely amazing, and it is by combining a few people’s design that I found something that works. I could not have made that design myself.
“It has been a steep and time consuming learning curve!”