Caerphilly packaging firm to make a million face shields a week for NHS in Wales

A Caerphilly-based packaging firm is to start producing one million face shields a week for the NHS in Wales as coronavirus increases demand.

Transcend Packaging is adapting the way it works in order to respond to the First Minister Mark Drakeford's call for action to support NHS Wales.

The Transcend face shield has been approved for coronavirus protection and will also be used in factories and other workplaces.

Production is taking place at the firm's factory in Ystrad Mynach where it usually makes paper straws and other sustainable packaging for some of the world's leading restaurants.

Around a million face shields will be made initially, but the Welsh Government says the firm can increase production to make almost two million a week to meet any future demand.

Across the UK and Wales there have been reports of a shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for front-line workers, including doctors, nurses and care workers.

Any key workers still working and in contact with the public are at a higher risk of contracting coronavirus if they are not protected.

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At the start of April, the First Minister Mark Drakeford called for all Welsh businesses, which could help manufacture vital PPE to help create a new made-in-Wales supply chain.

The First Minister said the company was a "great example of what a business can do to adapt the way it works to support our response to the coronavirus pandemic".

Mark Drakeford AM added: "I want to thank the company for everything it's doing and rising to the challenge.

"Transcend join a growing number of individuals and firms standing up and making the equipment we need to support our fantastic health and care workers. We appreciate each and every offer of support."

The Welsh Government says Transcend face shields are being tested and deployed in the Welsh NHS and to other parts of the UK and countries around the world.

The company has previously received Welsh Government support for its growth plans.

Lorenzo Angelucci, CEO of Transcend Packaging said: "We've been aware of the national difficulties in sourcing PPE - as a packaging manufacturer we challenged ourselves to see what we could do to help.

"These face shields will help provide Covid-19 protection across Wales and beyond, protecting our brave NHS staff, care home workers, retail and restaurant staff and other frontline workers.

"Our goal is to get as many shields in the hands of key workers as possible and we should be able to produce between one and two million face shields a week as long as the need persists."