A former Nottingham NHS consultant is making laundry bags so frontline staff can safely take their uniforms home during the coronavirus outbreak.
Pam Loughna, who worked as a Consultant Obstetrician at the Trust until 2017, is leading an army of volunteers to make the bags.
So far the team has made over 1000 of the laundry bags.
Pam said: “I belong to a WhatsApp group of medics who I qualified with and one of them mentioned that her daughter had asked her to make a draw string laundry bag.
“I asked my friends if they thought making the laundry bags was a good idea for our local area and we agreed that it was.”
Pam gathered volunteers to help her and a core group was formed called the ‘Alverton Baggers’. The group are neighbours in the villages of Alverton and Kilvington and members include Pam, alongside her friends Alexandra, Emma, Cath, Claire and Faye.
She said: “Friends in the village have been donating material and the bulk of it has been donated by Merchant Fabrics Ltd, Nottingham.
“Staff from Nottinghamshire clothing company Clothing Manufacturing Technology Ltd, who have been furloughed, also volunteered to help and they have made approximately 750 of the bags in their own homes, with fabric donated by Clomantec.”
Pam said some of the first bags were made from old pillow cases, old duvet covers and sheets that were donated by friends and neighbours, including Ann and Graham Maclean.
It now it takes her about 10-15 minutes to make a laundry bag, and she is receiving support from other people with the process.
One of the youngest volunteers is 8-year-old Alice, who made a laundry bag under the supervision of her mum Emma.
Alice hadn’t used a sewing machine before but was keen to show her support to NHS by making a bag.
Pam added: “It is a real team effort but we hope the staff like the laundry bags and find them useful.
“We handed our first batch of 45 bags to staff working in the critical care department and asked for feedback from nurses.
“Now we are pleased to say that they have been rolled out to other members of staff from across the Trust.”
Katie Moore, Head of Patient Public Involvement at Nottingham University Hospitals, said: “We are so grateful to Pam and her group for making these laundry bags for our hospitals.
“We trialled these out at first to see if staff liked them but they have found them really useful and now we are hoping to get these bags to more of our staff.
“Community groups and businesses including Hilary Blinds in Nottingham have been showing their support in various different ways such as making wash bags and we cannot thank them enough for their generosity.”
If you would like to contribute and make a laundry bag, contact MutualAid@nuh.nhs.uk.
To work properly, all laundry bags should be made of cotton, have a drawstring, be 40cm X 60cm and the material must be suitable so the bags can be washed at 60° centigrade.