Two Blyth Valley businesses are playing a key role in equipping and supplying the NHS Nightingale Hospitals set up as part of the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Universal Wolf in Blyth has been working flat out to manufacture fast assembly beds to be used at the Nightingale Hospitals in Birmingham and Glasgow, with Fergusons Transport handling the distribution over the Easter weekend.
Blyth Valley MP, Ian Levy, paid tribute to both businesses and said: “It is fantastic to see that local businesses are a part of the national effort to respond to the coronavirus crisis. These beds will allow the two Nightingale Hospitals in Birmingham and Glasgow to be treating patients as soon as they are delivered.
“I have said many times over the last few weeks how important it is to be working together in Blyth Valley. This is another example of what working together can achieve. It is also a reminder that we have some great businesses with dedicated workforces, that are doing all they can at this difficult time.”
Martin McKenna is Commercial Director at Universal Wolf and said: “The whole team at Universal Wolf has been working tirelessly including the Easter weekend to ensure we support the NHS in every way possible. We are very fortunate to have such a committed workforce in, and around, Blyth.”
Stuart Arkle, Director of Fergusons Transport added, “It is a privilege to have been given the opportunity to work with another Blyth Valley company in these unprecedented times. Delivering emergency care beds to the Nightingale Hospitals is a special job, and one that I am proud that Fergusons has been able to help with.”
The COVID-19 bed has all the core functions of a standard hospital bed to nurse someone with COVID-19 disease. It has been specifically designed by medical device company, Accora, and can be transported flat-pack and assembled quickly without expert knowledge.
Tim Drake, Operations Director of Accora, said: “Universal Wolf are one of our key manufacturing partners who have helped get production of the bed up to 3,500 units per week, from a standing start 2 weeks ago when the bed was first designed. This has been a truly incredible effort and shows what UK manufacturing is capable of when called upon.”
The first batch of 75 beds manufactured in Blyth was transported on Good Friday to the NHS Nightingale Hospital in Birmingham, which has been set up at the National Exhibition Centre. The next batch will again be transported by Fergusons to the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow at the Special Events Campus.