A community group of keen sewists are showing their support to Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUH) by making medical scrubs for frontline staff.
The group – called Scrub Hub Nottinghamshire – is made up of local volunteers who are making scrubs for medical staff. They are part of a network of hubs that are operating around the UK.
Leading the Nottingham group is Sherrie Parsons, a keen home sewist and the wife of Mr Simon Parsons, a consultant surgeon and Divisional Director for Surgery at NUH.
“Simon told me about the national shortage of scrubs in hospitals because more staff are now wanting to wear them during the pandemic – rather than wearing their normal clothes at this time,” said Sherrie.
“To speed up the delivery waiting time for the scrubs, we wanted to help in some way and we decided to set up a local Scrub Hub with the help of family and friends.
“We started out by setting up an email address, Facebook page and a GoFundMe page to encourage people to take part and support us.
“We have been running for only a few weeks and we have over 200 volunteers, ranging from a large number of home sewers to professional seamstresses and those in the fashion industry.”
Sherrie says that volunteers, who each work individually from home, are given sewing patterns and fabric to make the scrubs. There is no pressure for the volunteers to make a certain number of scrubs a week but they are being asked to make as many as they can.
Scrub Hub Nottingham is now calling for more volunteers in the community to come forward and is asking companies for help with industrial sewing machines or professional equipment – which will help to speed up the sewing process.
One set of scrubs costs roughly £15 to make and to cover the costs of buying the materials and the delivery of the scrubs, a GoFundMe page has been set up for people to donate.
Sherrie said: “All of our volunteers are giving up their time and expertise for free. It’s exciting to be taking part in this initiative and the response from our community has been absolutely overwhelming.
“The Scrub Hub has given us all a sense of purpose and enabled us to support frontline NHS staff during this difficult time.
“Through our fundraising, after material costs have been deducted, we will be proudly donating to help support the NHS Practitioners Health service.
“They help care for and support the mental well-being of NHS workers, who are doing such an amazing and selfless job of looking after us all during this time.”
Mr Simon Parsons added: “Scrubs are an essential piece of kit to wear under your personal protective equipment (PPE).
“As a surgeon, I am used to wearing these all the time. They are comfortable and practical and at the end of your working day you throw them in the hospital laundry and change back into your own clean clothes.
“Unfortunately, because of a worldwide shortage of scrubs we don’t have enough for everyone working on the frontline to wear. It would be a real boost to our dedicated healthcare professionals to provide them with scrubs to wear every time they come to work so that they don’t have to wear their own clothes and risk carrying the virus home with them.”