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Is sewing for the NHS actually worth it?

(32 Posts)
Sometimenever100 Tue 05-May-20 12:58:50

Ok so I have seen many people on fb and friends sewing gowns / hats / scrubs for the NHS out of sheets, old curtains etc.
Whilst these look so clever and I am super impressed by the sewing skills are nurses actually going to be wearing these? I thought all PPE had to be approved, waterproof etc to be used? As nice as these look and extremely well intentioned are most of these going to end up in a pile and thrown away?
I have a relation who is a senior nurse. She says in her hospital they wouldn’t wear these. PPE is only worn once and thrown anyway but needs to be approved before used i.e approved supplier?
Just can’t believe that hats and gowns made from old curtains would be used in a professional capacity?

OP’s posts: |
AnnaMagnani Tue 05-May-20 13:07:42

Depends if you are part of a group and that group knows where it is delivering to.

Scrubs only need to be made out of cotton/polycotton. They aren't thrown away, they are washed after every use. A lot of areas that didn't previously use scrubs or even uniforms have suddenly switched to wearing scrubs and yes, they are using them.

Our hospice craft group has made all our scrubs for us for example.

I have a nice ear protector in flowery material for using with single use masks to stop my ears rubbing which has been sewn by another group.

Plus I am making my own scrubs because if I have to wear them, mine are going to be stylish grin

You are right though that gowns are the hardest - they have to meet specific criteria and this is why there is a huge shortage of gowns, they are currently the hardest item of PPE to find.

olympicsrock Tue 05-May-20 13:07:51

Scrubs and hats can be made out of any fabric - not really PPE just Practical clothing that can be washed at 60 degrees. People have worn their own fabric theatre hats for years as an alternative to paper disposable ones.
PPE gowns do need to be made from special fabric if they are to act as level 2 PPE although at my trust we don’t have any at the moment and have sterile paper gowns and a plastic apron underneath. I wouldn’t wear this for a normal major operation (I’m a surgeon) but have to at the moment.

rooarsome Tue 05-May-20 13:13:02

My trust has declined these donations.

NotMeNoNo Tue 05-May-20 13:19:57

The group I'm in has been very specific. Scrubs in appropriate material and colours. Washable bags, headbands and caps in decent material. No PPE masks or gowns. The scrubs are to be made to factory standards. The main hospital declined them but loads of small surgeries, hospices etc have asked for them.

Catlover10 Tue 05-May-20 13:23:44

On Facebook you be seen our local hospital has refused the donations but local care homes and carers and other key workers seem happy to accept anything they are given at the moment so that think a lot of stuff is going there.

darceybusselllovesbrussells Tue 05-May-20 19:15:12

My SIL manages a small intermediate care unit based in a nursing home, but is under the NHS trust. The trust said scrubs weren't needed, so she got some from her local scrub hub. So yes, they are being used.

PineappleDanish Tue 05-May-20 19:24:24

There was a long thread about this last week. Every trust seems to be doing their own thing. A poster on that thread said that as a GP receptionist she usually just wore her own clothes, but due to Covid had been asked to switch to scrubs. So she was very grateful for any donations and she didn't care about the colour/material as she wasn't dealing directly with medical issues.

I've made scrubs bags for staff to bring clothing home to be washed.

DobbyTheHouseElk Tue 05-May-20 19:27:19

Yes. I wonder this as I read how many more are being made every day in our village. Scrub hats, scrubs and headbands. Who is using it all? I’m convinced it’s a ploy to keep people busy and feeling useful.

MrsCollinssettled Tue 05-May-20 19:31:49

Our trust is supplying patterns and fabric to people who sign up to sew for them

SpeedofaSloth Tue 05-May-20 19:33:45

The washing bags are being used in my Trust.

Willyoujustbequiet Thu 07-May-20 05:43:11

My friend runs a group like this that has blown up.

She has been approached by every single hospital in our area, including the major centres of excellence. All sorts of care homes and other key worker settings. They are run off their feet and cant keep up with demand. She's been on local news. They are definitely being used.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Thu 07-May-20 07:19:08

The group I am sewing for is responding to specific requests. Nothing is made that isn't asked for, eg '3 sets of scrubs, blue, medium'.

Sparklingbrook Thu 07-May-20 07:45:19

From what I have seen around here they are also making them as a result of requests.

Loads of places that wouldn’t ordinarily wear scrubs now need them.

Herpesfreesince03 Thu 07-May-20 07:49:36

About half of the ppe in my local hospitals right now have been provided by the local sewing fb groups

Herpesfreesince03 Thu 07-May-20 07:51:21

@DobbyTheHouseElk actually we can barely keep up with the hospital orders. We were originally making them for care homes, but we’re having to turn those down now to focus on hospitals

Springersrock Thu 07-May-20 07:55:05

In our area there are lots of people making scrubs, the little head bands to attach masks to and the wash bags. I volunteered to help but my sewing machine packed up a couple of weeks ago and the repair shop is closed

These are all made by request, and are very much being used and worn

GherkinsOnToast Thu 07-May-20 07:55:16

Our local group has been asked to supply over 200 sets of scrubs for our local big hospital in th last week. All staff that previously wore their own clothes now need scrubs and they can just not supply them, with each set of scrub we provide a scrubs bag, hat and ear protector - all are made in cotton or poly cotton which is washed at 60 before delivery and ironed.

Sparklingbrook Thu 07-May-20 07:57:14

I do have to read the words ‘local sewers’ twice though when reading about how many sets have been made. grin

OneMomentInHistory Thu 07-May-20 07:58:42

They definitely are being used, but people need to be clear they're making the right thing. My partner had to deal with someone very upset that the hospital didn't accept the masks she had made... whereas scrubs, bags and headbands they've enthusiastically accepted. Each trust, care home, doctors surgery etc will have different needs and standards.

TinnedPearsForPudding Thu 07-May-20 08:43:34

We had a load of homemade plastic face visors dropped off to my A&E last week - they seemed to be plastic from the old style overhead projector sheets, stuck with glue onto a big electric band to go round our heads. We will not be wearing those.
To be fair, my hospital trust has been excellent & managed to avoid any obvious shortage of PPE (no idea what their stock levels are like behind the scenes but there's always enough for us).

Othersvoices Thu 07-May-20 09:19:53

I really don't think they are being used.

Othersvoices Thu 07-May-20 09:21:36

...in hospitals that is!
In care homes yes.

AnnaMagnani Thu 07-May-20 09:25:50

Whereas we have gratefully received the 3D printed visors as otherwise we weren't getting any and we are treating COVID patients.

huffaloopa Thu 07-May-20 09:44:24

I help run a group, we have made over 15,000 items, including over 1000 sets of scrubs and we still cannot keep up with demand. GPs, health visitors, community Carers, mental health nurses all need scrubs and cannot get them through their usual channels.

There is a certain level of keeping people busy, amongst the hundreds of professional seamstresses we have in the group who are churning out scrubs, we do have vulnerable shielded older people, who get valuable interaction (albeit through the internet) in a time where they would have been desperately lonely. However, our less able sewers have made over 4000 bags for nurses to hold their scrubs in and also as bags for patient's belongings.

If you are interested, Kate Humble has filmed our group and the resulting story will be on Countryfile this Sunday. A great example of a community really pulling together to do their bit.

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