Health Minister Robin Swann has officially opened a manufacturing facility on the outskirts of Londonderry which supplies vital PPE to health workers in Northern Ireland.
The Campsie-based firm, NorthWest Medical has created 25 new jobs after being awarded a £6.5m contract to supply Type IIR face masks to the health service in Northern Ireland.
Minister Swann said: “Demand for PPE has soared during the pandemic with many health systems around the world facing challenges in securing stocks of protective equipment. In Northern Ireland, we saw local manufacturers and businesses quickly diversify, recognising that their skills, expertise and assembly lines could be repurposed and they too could join the fight against this virus.
“NorthWest Medical is one of five local businesses that now have contracts in place with BSO to supply clinical standard masks for health and social care staff. Securing local stock lines not only enables good continuity of supply of PPE for our front line workers, but is also beneficial to the wider Northern Ireland economy with BSO PPE contracts representing a total £95 million local investment.”
The Health Minister thanked NorthWest Medical and all the businesses that have joined in the effort to supply critical PPE items: “The response of our local businesses has been remarkable. Manufacturers the length and breadth of the province have stepped forward over the past 18 months and I want to thank them all for their efforts.”
Director of NorthWest Medical, Gavin Killeen said: “We were delighted to have the Health Minister officially open our new state-of-the art manufacturing and cleanroom facility here at Campsie. We were privileged to answer the call from local health trusts to manufacture the much needed Type IIR surgical face masks and be able to play our part in supporting frontline health workers.
“Since establishing this facility, NorthWest Medical has been able to create 25 jobs and we now want to see the business grow and develop further. We are exploring how we can move into other areas so that we can continue to create employment locally and at the same time support our health service by providing a resilient supply line.”