Rochdale manufacturer steps in to meet NHS order

Date published: 30 March 2020

A Rochdale manufacturer has stepped in to supply 4,500 pieces of furniture to support the NHS treatment of coronavirus patients.

The NHS is already transforming London’s ExCeL centre into a makeshift 4,000-bed ‘field hospital’ while last week it was announced that the 190,000 sq ft Manchester Central Convention Centre will be converted into a temporary hospital with 1,000 beds for coronavirus patients.

Crystal Doors is the leading manufacturer of vinyl-wrapped furniture and has kept its Rochdale facility open to help meet the NHS emergency. 

Managing director Richard Hagan had been contacting his customers to say he was closing the factory down when he received the emergency order from Lancashire-based Teal HealthCare & LifeCare, who are a key supplier to the NHS.

He explained: “We do a lot of work with hotels, restaurants, shopfitting, retailers and even prisons but 10 per cent of our work is in the healthcare sector.

“We were preparing to close the factory down and I did a final ring-round of our customers when Teal said they needed several thousand items of furniture for the NHS and they needed them now.

“The order value was £140,000 and included overbed tops, side tables and cupboards required by the NHS to create makeshift treatment centres. 

“Crystal Doors use a special anti-bacterial material to make our furniture and that’s vital in the NHS.”

Hagan immediately contacted his 34-strong workforce and asked for volunteers to make up the order. 

“The health and safety of our staff is the most important thing and nobody was under any pressure,” he said. “Because we’re a heavily automated manufacturer we don’t need a big staff so we’re able to run it with 10 staff and four in reserve in case they get ill.

“Because we only have 10 staff in the factory there’s no problem with social distancing. It makes me incredibly proud that Crystal Doors is able to play its part in the national response to coronavirus.

“We don’t know exactly where the furniture is heading other than the fact it’s for coronavirus patients.”

Paul Goodall, managing director of Teal HealthCare & LifeCare, said the role of suppliers like Crystal Doors was vital. “We need your support and for this not only will Teal be sincerely grateful but (so will) the nation,” he wrote in an email to Hagan. Hagan also praised the role of other Rochdale businesses in helping his company keep going.

“On Thursday the robot sprayer went down,” he said. “Unfortunately our supplier in Italy wasn’t able to send any spare parts but Swift Electrical Supplies in Heywood stepped and got the part to us the following day. It was absolutely brilliant service knowing we were pulling out all the stops to meet the NHS order.”

John Blundell, cabinet member for regeneration, business and skills at Rochdale Borough Council and board member of the Rochdale Development Agency said: “It’s great to see Rochdale’s exceptional business community really stepping up to the plate and using their skills and innovation to support the NHS in its hour of need.

“I’m particularly impressed that Richard and his dedicated staff team changed their plans at the last minute to ensure that this vital work is delivered for the NHS. Crystal Doors is yet another example of a Rochdale company stepping up to help in the fight against coronavirus. It demonstrates that the Rochdale business community is 100 per cent committed to playing its part. I’m proud to see everybody pulling together in this crisis and it’s very much what Rochdale is all about.”

Information and advice for businesses affected by the coronavirus crisis is available on the GC Business Growth Hub website: 

Alternatively, you can contact Rochdale Development Agency on 01706 927000, or at

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