St Neots company produce the first clear masks for hospitals

Clear Mask created by LJA Miers

Clear Mask created by LJA Miers - Credit: LJA Miers

A St Neots manufacturing company has produced the first clear masks which are now being distributed to hospitals. 

LJA Miers has adapted its workforce to provide face shields for the NHS,during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Within two weeks, production had reached 15,000 units per day and the company says it has now delivered 900 clear masks to Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge. 

Masks have also been distributed to Papworth Hospital, in Cambridge, and care homes and charities across the UK.  

Tony Barber, commercial director at the company said: “At the start of the pandemic, we faced the problem of all our customers were closed. 

“So we put our focus on how we could help other people and we knew there was a shortage in PPE and that’s when we started making face visors.  

“We then developed the clear mask and delivered over 900 to them to Addenbrookes hospital in Cambridge.  

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“These really helped the staff communicate better with the patients such as the deaf, children, elderly people with dementia and even people who worked on reception so they could welcome people with a smile.” 

“The face mask recently received EN14683 approval, confirming that the product meets all the requirements to be used for medical usage (Type II R.) 

“Once we’re fully up and running consumers will be able to buy the mask online, but you can buy a box of 50 today. 

LJA Miers is a family-owned company established in 1954 in Stratford, then moved to Gamlingay before arriving in St Neots in the mid-1980s. 

The specialist parts supplier manufactures for markets including automotive, marine, aerospace and construction – but the business model was repurposed after the first lockdown last March. 

Tony said: “All our customers ceased trading for between eight and 12 weeks, so we repurposed our manufacturing capability to support the NHS.” 

“The clear face mask had seemed an unlikely technical feat.  

“All the components are supplied in rolls – the clear PET, glue, foam, plastic, the fabric. 

“So we laminate and cut and shape them and then bring the parts back together, for instance sticking the foam to the PET.” 

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