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Community / Over 100 people answer call to make homemade scrubs for NHS staff

It has emerged during the coronavirus response that there is a ‘chronic shortage’ of the uniforms for clinical staff

Lerwick's Gilbert Bain Hospital.

A COMMUNITY campaign has been launched encouraging people to make scrubs for the NHS Shetland’s clinical staff during the Covid-19 emergency – with over 100 people already coming forward to help out.

The plan is for people to create scrubs, the clothing worn by medical staff, by sewing together pieces of fabric using patterns provided by the NHS as a guide.

It has emerged that there is a “chronic shortage” of scrubs at NHS Shetland because the hospital team has been changing over more often due to the busy coronavirus period.

The basic outline of the uniform.

The laundry staff are said to have been working non-stop to ensure a steady supply, but as the situation looks set to heighten it is “imperative that something like scrubs is the least” of staff’s problems.

All that is required for the homemade scrubs is that the fabric should be able to withstand a high temperature wash and will not shrink, with a cotton/polycotton mix preferred.

People who express an interest can receive a pattern which is to be used as a guideline, with hard copies also available in addition to online versions.

Plenty of fabric – including old duvet covers – has already been donated to the campaign by the community for people to use, and they are of all colours.

The collection and drop-off point at Montfield. Photo: NHS

There are now bins outside the NHS building at Montfield in Burgh Road in Lerwick where people can collect and leave fabric and old sheets and duvets, leave scrubs and pick up copies of the patterns.

The idea was first raised at an NHS meeting this week, with communications officer Carol Campbell getting the ball rolling before colleague Lisa Gray took on managing the project.

The word was put out on the MRI scanner volunteers Facebook page and Campbell said the response was “instant and overwhelming”.

NHS Shetland chief executive Michael Dickson praised the “wonderful” efforts of the community to prepare staff for what will be a “massive battle against the Covid-19 virus”.

“The phrase ‘Our NHS’ is often coined but nowhere is this more apparent than in Shetland,” he said.

“Thank you to everyone for being so willing to help and for the incredible messages of support that continue to come in every day.”

More information can be found on the Shetland Scrubs Facebook page.