Medical staff wearing PPE

Scrubs for NHS staff

The University’s Computing Services Department (CSD) is using specialist printing equipment to help address the medical scrubs shortage amongst NHS staff.

ScrubHub, a network of voluntary community groups who love to sew, are making scrubs to order for NHS staff who are struggling to get them during this crisis, and University staff identified a way to help them.

"Many volunteers were relying on taping together A4 print outs to make the patterns which was time consuming and not robust,” says John Cartwright, Director of Computing Services. “Colleagues in the Faculty of Science and Engineering and Daresbury Laboratory identified an opportunity to use our large format plotters to instead create A0 prints for this purpose."

Printing scrubs tops patterns

“Just before the lockdown we audited our ability to use the School of Physical Science's unique sets of resources and skills to help in any way, from local to global scales,” says Dr Chris Edmonds, a Lecturer in the Department of Physics. “These conversations quickly grew to a faculty level and to include partners at STFC and international labs. Through colleagues at Daresbury Lab we identified the local need for printing scrub patterns. Alongside the Lab, we have jointly been able to deliver 500 patterns to Liverpool and surrounding areas, which will be used to create 2,500 sets of scrubs.”

University staff moved quickly to respond to the request.

“Our first pattern was printed the day after the request came in, and CSD completed the print run of 250 within four days, said John Cartwright. “Dave Ehlen, the CSD team member responsible for our plotter service responded to my initial request without hesitation and came to campus to man the plotters and produce the patterns. He has demonstrated fantastic commitment to the cause and continues to do so.”

Printing scrubs bottoms patterns

These plotters are normally used to print large format posters associated with student course work on various programmes across all three University faculties. For some courses, such as Architecture, the output provided by these plotters reflects the type of output created in professional business environments.

“It is with great pride that CSD has been able to bring its specialist plotters in to play in support of our NHS colleagues at this critical time. Providing these large format scrubs patterns will help to keep our fantastic NHS colleagues safe on the front line,” John Cartwright said.

The Liverpool ScrubHub group has identified a challenge of obtaining fabric and is appealing for local suppliers to help.

We have jointly been able to deliver 500 patterns to Liverpool and surrounding areas, which will be used to create 2,500 sets of scrubs.

Lecturer in the Department of Physics, Dr Chris Edmonds.

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