Strathearn designs new protective shields for NHS

Strathearn School has produced a series of bespoke medical shields, designed specially to protect frontline NHS workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The shields have been donated to a number of hospitals initially to protect ophthalmologists carrying out face-to-face eye examinations in Emergency Departments across Belfast.  

Andrew Atkinson, Head of Technology at Strathearn, explained that the concept came about following a discussion with a family friend – an ophthalmologist.  

“Amid the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, routine and emergency medical eye examinations in hospitals must continue,” he explained.  “Since such an examination requires close face-to-face contact between the doctor and the patient, however, this exposes both to the potential risk of infection, even where PPE is worn. 

“When our friend spoke of the need for a guard or shield device as an added layer of protection, I knew this was something we could design and produce at Strathearn.” 

Using machinery and materials from its Technology department, Strathearn has since produced a range of shields for Eye Casualty in the Royal Victoria and Ulster Hospitals, as well as A&E at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. Mr Atkinson said the School will “gladly produce and donate as many as required for other hospitals and frontline medical services across the province.” 

Last week, Strathearn’s Science and Technology departments also donated over 200 pairs of safety goggles to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, and the Paediatrics and Emergency Departments at the Ulster Hospital. 

Strathearn School Principal Nicola Connery commented: “Strathearn is an outward-looking school and we welcome any opportunity to support the wider community around us – especially during times of need such as these. 

“We are in close proximity to a number of the Belfast hospitals and, with the children or spouses of many NHS staff attending or teaching at the school, we want to show our support and appreciation for the incredible dedication and selflessness of our frontline staff during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“These shields and safety goggles are donated from all at Strathearn School with a very sincere and heartfelt thank you to our NHS and care workers for everything they are doing at this time.”

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