Western Trust going through 70,000 face masks a week

The Western Trust has over 2.6 million items of personal protective equipment (PPE), including millions of gloves and hundreds of thousands of aprons, however some items are still in short supply.
For example, in an inventory of items published by the Trust this week, it states it has a supply of 45,342 surgical face masks. However, the Trust is currently going through up to 70,000 a week.
Director of finance at the Trust Niall McGuckian explained there were several reasons for the continued shortage of PPE, including a massive increase in worldwide demand for the items themselves and the materials to make them.
Mr McGuckian said demand was also growing weekly locally, and used the face masks as an example.
“In terms of fluid resistant surgical masks, which are the more generic masks, we would traditionally use about 2,000 of those masks in a day,” he said. “A few weeks ago, that would have increased to 5,000 a day. A week ago that was up to 8,000, and now in the current week we’re actually between 50,000 and 70,000 masks in a single week.
“Clearly, that would put pressure on any stock holding. We would generally hold between six and 12 weeks stock of a given item, but six to 12 weeks stock in the current pandemic would the equivalent of one day’s usage.”
Adding the Trust had been able to avail of regional stocks of PPE, Mr McGuckian said “our number one priority is to keep our patients safe and our staff safe at this difficult time.”
Thanking the public for their generosity in recent weeks, he explained that the PPE items donated first had to undergo rigorous testing to ensure they meet clinical standards but they would be used by staff after this had taken place.
Anyone who would like to make a donation to the Trust is asked to do using the drop-off point at the Drumcoo Centre on the Cornagrade Road, Enniskillen, to keep footfall down at the hospital. This is open Monday to Friday from 9am to 3pm.

To read more.. Subscribe to current edition

Receive quality journalism wherever you are, on any device. Keep up to date from the comfort of your own home with a digital subscription.
Any time | Any place | Anywhere


The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
Registered in Northern Ireland, No. R0000576. 28 Belmore Street, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland, BT74 6AA