Prisoners at Nottinghamshire prison help make PPE for NHS staff

Prisoners at HMP Lowdham Grange have so far made 1,200 sets of scrubs, 716 surgical gowns, 470 surgical caps and more than 16,000 face coverings for the NHS to use during the pandemic.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 10:24 am

The Business Enterprise unit at HMP Lowdham Grange has been working with the inmates to produce the PPE with the unlikely partnership beginning with a Facebook request from a group called ‘For the Love of Scrubs’, which head of contracts and sustainability for Business Enterprise, Sally Allsopp, saw and thought they could help with.

Sally said: “I saw that the group ‘For the Love of Scrubs’ had been approached by Sherwood Forest Hospitals, but that they were struggling to meet the demand.

"I knew we already had prisoners working on chef wear for Serco prisons and thought that the transition to make the scrubs and other PPE would be achievable.”

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Prisoner at HMP Lowdham Grange making PPE

By April 2020 the prison had already donated 300 sets of scrubs to King’s Mill Hospital and an official ordering system had been set up to manage what was needed.

Sally said: “The satisfaction that our prisoners are getting from being able to help the NHS is amazing and we all feel extremely proud to be able to do this.”

The prison has built the making of the PPE into its NVQ programme in Performing and Manufacturing Operations and at the beginning of February 2021 they received a virtual visit from OFSTED, who said: “Prisoners and staff were proud of their support for the NHS through these workshops. More prisoners were able to quickly develop new skills in sewing.”