We are happy to have had the opportunity to speak to Dr Khalique, the medical equipment advisor for the UK Mask Force Charity.
Dr Khalique has been working as an NHS GP for 30 years. In this time Dr Khalique has received several awards for his outstanding work (e.g. patient champion’s awards, an NHS Hero award and a Parliamentary Public Health award).
Dr Khalique, firstly can you say a few words about the UK Mask Force charity:
UK Mask Force is the result of a collaboration between military, medical and logistical partners and entrepreneurs in the UK, China and USA. It has been set up as a result of the Covid 19 pandemic and the difficulties with NHS / care home / dental front line staff struggling to get quality non-counterfeit PPE in a timely manner with adequate supplies. In addition, with my medical colleagues struggling, or getting Covid and, sadly one passing away, I felt the need to help and support our NHS colleagues in their fight to care for patients in unprecedented times. By having logistics and ‘eyes on’ Chinese factory and procuring through credible agents we have the ability to act quick and accurately in sourcing credible and reliable PPE. This is paramount as front-line staff, whether in a hospital, care home, or community care/general practice setting, need good PPE to feel confident, secure and protected against the very dangerous hazards they and their patients are facing.
Setting up something like this, in these difficult circumstances and in such a short time is a big task. How did you get involved and what was your motivation?
Meeting with my partners, who were all experienced in their respective fields, made the whole arrangement and process of setting up the charity considerably easier. Our team comprises of; our medical advisors is General Sir Louis Lillywhite (retired Surgeon General UK Armed Forces and involved with WHO Ebola Epidemic), legal – Howard Kennedy, accountacy – Mockler Accountants, Procurement – HKKA Consulting limited (Hong Kong) and Logistics – Ligentia, entrepreneurs William Ralston Saul-nanotechnologies experts , the Team was very quickly enabled to undertake relevant diligence, search and diagnostics as well as procurement actions with confidence. The aim is to raise funds to source and supply credible, quality PPE for the NHS services, Care Homes and Dentists. My motivation to support, care and protect my frontline colleagues and patients
Can you describe the challenges you face in the procurement of the right PPE and materials for the NHS and care homes?
The main issue in procuring PPE is tracing its source from factory and then authenticating the factory and regulatory compliance and certification. The PPE is being distributed to frontline healthcare workers and the public and so it is essential to avoid any counterfeit products. Furthermore, as most PPE is sourced from overseas, for example China / Europe, this comes with further reliability issues in shipping / aviation schedules. This has made it a desire to source, where possible, PPE made in the UK
Why is it so important to have a reliable partner in the UK to ensure that the PPE you deliver to care homes is up to the required standards?
Finding products in the UK and abroad is a key ability to source and deliver PPE, especially when services are struggling to get it in both a timely and adequate manner. Key to this is having the right team which can react, investigate, target and deliver to those frontline services in a predictable manner. Reliable, trustworthy partners enable us to achieve this mission and having a UK partner such as Home Shield Products to fulfil this role. It is disheartening when looking after highly infectious ill patients to run short of protective equipment that is needed. Not only does it affect patient care and service but it also affects the confidence, morale and efficiency of the carers.
Home Shield Products Ltd. is proud to meet your high standards.
Why do you value the cooperation with Home Shield Products as your supplier?
Paramount to delivering the aims of the charity within the UK we need an experienced and reliable partner to facilitate excellent PPE product sourcing and assist with UK logistics. Home Shield Products also are creating sustainability within the supply chain by taking the route of manufacturing face masks and alcohol sanitisers in the UK.
This is a great mission – to provide UK manufactured face masks. I am proud that after months of hard work the Home Shield Products type IIR face masks are now tested and certified to EN 14683:2019 +AC:2019 and approved by MRHA and production has started in October 2020.
Thank you very much Dr Khalique for this interview. We are proud to be partner of UK Mask Force and the important work they do to support care homes and the NHS in the UK.