Harborough man who has worked day and night to make thousands of face shields for the NHS has been forced to stop

Aaron Shrive has now been told that he has got to meet British and EU standards

By Red Williams
Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 1:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th May 2020, 1:48 pm

A Harborough man who has made a staggering 6,000 face shields for frontline NHS Covid-19 heroes risking their lives has been forced to stop.

Aaron Shrive, 31, has worked night and day for the last six weeks to knock out a thousands of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for key health service workers.

But he hasn’t made any lifesaving kit for grateful NHS workers on his repurposed 3d printers since Friday May 15 after being warned he has got to meet British and EU standards.

Aaron Shrive, 31, has worked night and day for the last six weeks to knock out a thousands of vital personal protective equipment (PPE) for key health service workers.

Furious Aaron, of Ashley Way, Market Harborough, told the Harborough Mail: “I just cannot believe it.

“I have put my heart and soul into making 6,000 face shields for our fantastic NHS since March.

“I have used an incredible 20 miles of plastic to make this crucial equipment.

“And now we are being told we could up being held liable and hauled into court if anything goes wrong – it’s beyond belief.”

The former Robert Smyth Academy student said he was only alerted after he stumbled across a landmark Facebook declaration on Friday.

“I have been keeping in touch with a group called Print for Victory.

“They are a community of volunteers who have been cracking out PPE like me for NHS and other critical workers,” said Aaron, who makes products supporting miniature war gamers worldwide.

“The group put up a post warning that scores of volunteers like me all over the UK could end up in serious trouble if we continued.

“I have ploughed in about £2,000 of my own money into producing face shields and other kit.

“I have also lost many hundreds of pounds in income since I started doing this because I’ve pushed my day job totally to one side.

“But I simply cannot go on rolling out this critical equipment if the Government decides my kit is unsafe and I’m dragged into court.”

He has acted after Neil Tucker, who helps to run Print for Victory, revealed on their Facebook site: “To all our splendid 'little boats' who have printed almost 21,000 visors over the past few weeks, our wonderful carers, medics and our brilliant supporters.

“I have recently received a document, drafted by HM Government with 'Guidance', on the production of Personal Protective Equipment.

“This guidance applies to all of us, whether a massive company, or, one person on their own printing visors in their spare time.

“Unfortunately, (no matter how frustrating I personally find this document), it leaves us all at Print For Victory no choice but to suspend operations until we've decided what we're going to do in the medium term.

“We would also STRONGLY recommend that all our printers do exactly the same - it's in your best interests to do so.”

Shell-shocked Aaron stressed: “It took my breath away!

“We are plugging a massive gap by making items such as face shields, masks and ear favours.

“The Government should be thanking us for helping save lives, not kicking us in the teeth.

“I have supplied PPE to all of Leicester’s hospitals, Market Harborough Medical Centre, Northampton General Hospital, Leicester Fertility Centre and everywhere from Hull in the north to Truro in the south.

“They have all come to me asking for this kit – I haven’t approached anyone myself.

“And not one recipient has come back to me to complain about my workmanship or the quality of my equipment.

“I’ve been inundated with yet more urgent requests for more PPE since last Friday.

“But I’ve had to turn them all down since I find out exactly where I am on this – and it’s breaking my heart.”

He said Harborough MP Neil O’Brien is now battling to establish his new position.

“Neil responded lightning fast and I’m delighted he’s striving to discover if I’m going to be able to go on or not,” said Aaron.

“I’ll give it until the end of this week.

“And if I haven’t heard by then then I’ll have to turn my back on making PPE and go back to doing my job because I so badly need the money.”

MP Neil told the Mail: “I am trying to get to the bottom of this story.

“I have asked the Department of Health for comment and I am still waiting to hear back.”

The Conservative MP added: “We clearly need some rules and regulations on PPE – but we also need some flexibility as well.

“Aaron has done a brilliant job up to now so we have to ascertain just where he stands.”

The NHS has been approached for a comment.