THE boss of a plastic manufacturing company has spoken of his disappointment after his offer to provide 40,000 weekly units of personal protective equipment to help shield frontline workers from the deadly coronavirus was turned down.

The rejection of Sam Walsh’s products came despite acknowledgement from the government that the country is in the grips of a PPE crisis as it battles against Covid-19.

Mr Walsh, Director of TG Engineering Plastics Limited, applied to become a government seller of PPE after realising he could put both his equipment and the staff inside his factory to good use during the pandemic.

Alongside his team, the Nelson man spent the last month designing and producing protective face shields with the goal of getting them into hospitals and other high-risk facilities across the country.

However Mr Walsh was shocked last week to receive a call from the Department of Health stating they would not be buying from him as 40,000 units a week was not enough.

He said: “A representative who is helping to organise the supply of PPE to the frontline called and told me what we were offering wouldn’t meet the demand they had - 40,000 units wasn’t enough.

"It is very hard to see how this is the case when there is a PPE shortage across the country and we are still hearing and seeing on the news that doctors and nurses don’t have the necessary equipment available to them to keep them safe.

"I’m not criticising the government, I think they are doing the best they can in hard times, however I’m confused as to how they can say we don’t have enough equipment and then turn away an offer of up to 40,000 units a week. It is disappointing.”

It was reported over the weekend that almost 16 million pairs of protective goggles are being recalled from hospitals and the frontline after failing safety tests against Covid-19.

The news came just days after 400,000 gowns from Turkey ordered by the government failed to meet standards rendering them useless.

Mr Walsh now plans to produce PPE for private sales from his Huddersfield-based factory however has also faced difficulties with that after his Ebay listing was removed from online earlier in the week.

He said: “The goal was to get some of my staff back into work and try to contribute as we have the means to do so. Unfortunately that hasn’t happened.”

A Department of Health spokesman said: “We have received an extraordinary response to our call to action to supply PPE to the frontline and are hugely grateful to everyone who has come forward.

“We are working round to clock to prioritise suppliers that can provide large volumes of PPE at a fast pace, while meeting our technical and financial specifications, and we have taken forwards 100 offers so far.

“The safety of frontline staff and patients is of paramount importance and all PPE must undergo vigorous checks to ensure they meet the safety and quality required.”