New ‘Parachute Gown’ reduces need for disposable gowns in NHS

David Nieper fashion firm in Derbyshire has designed a unique, re-useable ‘parachute style’ surgical gown for frontline NHS staff, which could dramatically reduce the need across the NHS for disposable gowns.

Working in partnership with The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust, the David Nieper design team has created a prototype, which can be laundered by the hospital, then safely re-used 100 times by doctors and nurses on Covid-19 wards.

Christopher Nieper, CEO David Nieper Ltd commented:

“We are delighted that our doctors and nurses will benefit from our reusable gowns. We have enough fabric to make 12,500 gowns.  If these are washed 100 times they could potentially save the NHS buying 1.25 million disposable gowns.

We offered our suggestion of a re-usable gown in this exact fabric 4 weeks ago. It’s a great pity the Deloitte team, responsible for procurement of gowns didn’t grasp the potential of reusable equipment and has shown no interest in our British manufacturing capacity.

Meanwhile, the local university hospital trust in Derby has helped develop the prototype, approved the design and placed an order.”  

The gown is made from high quality, clinical barrier fabric which still meets the European Standard EN13795 for the prevention of transmission of infective agents, even after 100 washes at 73°C.

The unique ‘parachute design’ of the new gown also means that the wearer can safely disrobe and avoid contamination following their shift.

Traditional surgical gowns are fastened at the back, which requires the wearer to reach over the face and head to loosen the ties.  David Nieper’s gown has been designed with ‘parachute ties’ at the front of the shoulder, so can be easily unfastened to avoid contamination risk of the wearers face.

The gown is removed inside out so that germs are trapped inside and thedesign also allows the wearer to disrobe without assistance.

Kevin Downs, Executive Director of Finance and Performance at The University Hospitals of Derby and Burton NHS Foundation Trust commented:

 “These gowns offer an excellent barrier, are of high quality and can be washed up to 100 times. At UHDB, we have a steady supply of PPE [from the national supply chain], but we are continuing to work with suppliers who may be able to supply and manufacture PPE locally so should we need to add to our levels of supplies to support the wider local health economy we can do so. We are delighted to have had the design approved for these gowns with David Nieper and look forward to the first delivery.”

Considering the longer-term use of the gowns Andrew McClaren, Deputy Medical Director at Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust added:

“These gowns would obviously be helpful in the short term as the procurement team in the Trust battles daily to obtain the numbers of disposable gowns we need, but as it seems likely that precautions will be needed in the longer term a more robust supply of reusable gowns makes a lot of sense and would provide huge reassurance to our staff.”

The fact that the gown is reusable also means dramatically reducing the amount of waste generated and the associated disposal costs.





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