Manufacturer flooded with NHS orders in fight against Covid-19

Date published: 12 April 2020

A Rochdale manufacturer which stayed open to supply furniture to the NHS to help them treat coronavirus patients has been flooded with new orders.

Crystal Doors is a leading manufacturer of vinyl-wrapped furniture and initially kept its Rochdale facility open to help meet an NHS order for 4,500 pieces of furniture worth £140,000.

Now it’s received a batch of fresh orders totalling £170,000 for another 6,000 pieces of furniture and admits it’s having to turn some business away.

Some of the furniture is heading to the Nightingale Hospital at the NEC near Birmingham while a number of specialist pharmacy worktops are going to Manchester’s new Nightingale Hospital in the 190,000 sq ft Manchester Central Convention Centre.

Managing director Richard Hagan said: “Most of the furniture is for overbeds which, as the name suggests, go over the top of beds so that patients can eat from them.

“We make them out of fibre board and coat them with an anti-bacterial 3D medical grade plastic. We’re the only company in the UK capable of doing it within the NHS’s timeframe of the end of April.”


Crystal Doors Managing Director, Richard Hagan
Crystal Doors Managing Director, Richard Hagan


Hagan had been planning to close his factory in March when he received the first emergency £140,000 order from Lancashire-based Teal HealthCare & LifeCare, who are a key supplier to the NHS.

The order included overbed tops, side tables and cupboards required by the NHS to create makeshift treatment centres. 

Hagan said: “As a medical surface, the tops can be cleaned with disinfectants used in hospitals while normal surfaces either harbour germs or are not suited to be cleaned with such potent substances.

“The tops are a single surface on the face and four edges and have no joints for germs to be trapped. Because they’re recessed any small spillages will stay within the tray, keeping the patient and bedding free from liquids.

“The order from Pharmacy Storages Solutions for 14 pharmacy worktops at Manchester’s Nightingale Hospital presented a different challenge but my production manager Chris Woodworth made it a top priority and completed the order.”

The flood of work meant Crystal Doors’ stock of the key material called Kydex was running dangerously low.

Hagan: “Kydex is the key because it’s medical grade specification. It’s anti-bacterial. We only had 10 rolls left and I couldn’t find any new supplies until a manufacturer in the US agreed to work all weekend and fly over an emergency consignment of six tonnes of Kydex so we can fulfil the orders.

“It’s humbling to see the way everyone is coming together in the global fight against Covid-19. The team at Crystal Doors has been immense and it makes me incredibly proud.”

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 businesses like Crystal Doors pulling out all the stops to supply the NHS with this vital equipment in record time.

“I’m proud that our business community has really played its part and used its talent and innovation to help get us through this national crisis.”

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