Advertising, Marketing & PR

Published: April 7, 2020 | Updated: April 7, 2020

Community-minded design consultancy does its bit to help protect frontline health staff

Sophie Parsons of Aetha Design delivers a box of face shields to the Royal Bournemouth Hospital.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A Poole-based product design consultancy is doing its bit to get much-needed face visors to frontline health professionals.

Inspired by a team in Poland, Aetha Design designed its own simple one hour print ‘fit for purpose’ face visor.

The team then ran overnight prints, used acetate and asked NHS workers who were friends to test them and give feedback before refining the visor.

The consultancy spoke to contacts in local surgeries and hospitals and, before they knew it, had been asked by various procurement teams for sample batches.

The simple design consists of a laser-cut piece of acetate that acts as a shield for the user and a 3D printed ‘crown’ that fits across the user’s forehead.

The crown and shield are secured with elastic (no latex) and can be tightened/loosened to suit the user.

Designers Josh Tunstill and Tom Parsons have been printing the 3D crowns overnight.

Meanwhile Sophie Parsons, Project Account Manager, set up a small production line, combining the visor and elastic onto the crown before packaging them up and delivering to various hospitals and surgeries.

So far Aetha Design has dropped off the visors at GP surgeries in Lilliput and the Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals.

However, with news spreading fast, Sophie has also received calls from various medical professionals at hospitals and surgeries further afield in Dorset.

Sophie said: “With the Bank Holiday weekend approaching, the team are more than happy to get to work and make more visors.

“We aren’t claiming that these are as good as what the teams may get as part of their official PPE issued by the NHS, but they are fit for purpose and better than nothing so we are happy to provide them if it helps.”

Tom, the Founder of Aetha Design, added: “It is very easy to sit and say how ill-equipped the NHS is for this virus which we have read about on various social media platforms, but we thought, well, let’s do something that can help today rather than look for someone to blame.

“The way we see it, if we can help in any way, even if it means helping in the interim while they wait for a bigger order to be dropped off, then we have done our role.”

Sophie and Tom Parsons.

Aetha Design has not asked for money for the face visors from hospitals or front line carers and is donating its materials and time.

However, after being approached by clients and families wishing to donate to help buy filament, the consultancy has set up a Crowdfunder to help keep up with demand.