MedTech Answers COVID Call: Rapid Repurposing as Orthotic Maker Turns Visor Maker

Blatchford Orthotics turns visor maker

Sheffield, UK, based Blatchford, manufacturer of orthotic and prosthetic devices. The company has now has started making thousands of face visors to help protect frontline NHS staff.


It’s probably happening the world over: Companies more used to churning out one type of medical device find themselves making another.

Blatchford is turning its highly skilled technicians, supply chain and facilities over to help with the COVID-19 response. The idea began as a way of protecting the orthotic, special seating and prosthetic clinicians – who are in very close contact with patients as they assess and treat them – from the virus.

The company say however, it soon became clear that other clinical areas were in need of PPE.

At time of writing, Blatchford had manufactured and delivered over 1000 visors across nine different NHS trusts with hundreds more in progress. The company has also secured the supply chain which will enable it to manufacture thousands more in the coming weeks.

The company is also helping the frontline by producing and delivering Orthotics, Prosthetics and specialist seating systems to help to clear beds in hospitals that will then be used to help with the care of patients affected with coronavirus.

The face visors are being made from acetate plastic for the shield, evazote for the forehead padding and elasticated Velcro for the strapping.

Company comments

Nigel Birkett, Operations Manager for Blatchford, said: “So far we have made offers of the masks to all the NHS trusts that we currently provide clinical support to and offered support to any other trusts that have reached out to us.”

Nigel added: “What has been incredible is the response from the Blatchford team. Many people have volunteered to work extra unpaid hours in the week and over the bank holiday weekend to help keep up with demand. We will continue to make face visors whilst ever we have requests to support all those putting themselves at risk. It is our way of saying thank you to all the amazing NHS staff.”

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