NORTH East manufacturing firm Seaward is part of the national effort to keep Covid-19 patients and NHS staff safe.

Seaward employees John Harrison and Keith Wood work on manufacturing vital equipment.The firm is supplying vital electrical safety testing equipment to the new Nightingale Hospitals and existing hospitals across the UK, as well as internationally.

Seaward builds electrical safety testing equipment for everything from ventilators to hospital beds, hoists and pumps via its medical arm. Rigel Medical.

Andrew Upton MD of Seaward, said: “A limited workforce is keeping the Peterlee-based factory up and running. The greatest call at the moment is for the electrical safety checking of ventilators.

 “Because a lot of the equipment is either brand new or older and being brought back into use, it is vital it is safety tested to protect patients and staff.

“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.

“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 as well, observing social distancing, the introduction of a one-way system and converting the conference room to a canteen extension so breaks can be staggered to minimise contact.

“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.

“Our equipment is also being exported to help many international communities who are also suffering greatly due to Coronavirus both in Europe and China.