Scrub Hub: East London neighbours sewing clothing for medics spark nationwide response

By Antoine Allen

An idea sparked in a corner of east London to provide scrubs for NHS medics has caught the imagination of the entire country.

Scrub Hub brings together volunteers who love to sew and make medical uniforms for NHS staff.

It all began when Hackney doctor Katie Ward messaged a local WhatsApp group asking for help getting hold of clothing worn by medical staff.

A group of neighbours responded by organising a mini production line for scrubs in east London.

Brooke Dennis, Maya Ilany, Annabel Maguire and Rebecca Zehr came up with the idea to coordinate a team to help hardworking medics.

I’m very tired after a day at NHS Nightingale but I’m thrilled with my new scrubs. They make working easier and help keep my family safe.

Katie Ward, doctor

Fast forward a few weeks and there are now 60 Scrub Hubs across the country with volunteers working to help meet a shortage of medical clothing.The cost of material is paid for by donations from the public. > Scrub Hub has raised nearly £100,000 in public donations helping make over 4,000 scrubs. All hubs operate within the guidelines of the lockdown with strict social distancing.

The fabric cutting is done in isolation and meetings happen by video call. >The coronavirus pandemic means scrubs have been in high demand. Doctors at hospitals and hospices such as St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney don't usually wear scrubs.

But to keep the public and themselves safe more NHS staff are opting to wear them.

Find out more about how to get involved with Scrub Hub here.