Crowdfunding page set up to buy PPE for staff at Scarborough Hospital

A crowdfunder set up to raise £250 to buy Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for staff at Scarborough Hospital has now exceeded its target 12 times over.

Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 1:54 pm
Updated Thursday, 2nd April 2020, 1:56 pm

At the time of publication, the fundraising campaign has received £3,223 in donations.

It was set up by Scarborough man John Parkes, 49, a molecular biologist who has worked with viruses in his career and thus truly understands the necessity for adequate PPE.

John explained: "I've got some really good friends up at the hospital who are on the frontline and I wanted to help them.

File photo. Getty Images.

"It looks like we'll be at £3,000 by the end of the day.

"I'm amazed by the response."

The struggle to get PPE to NHS workers on the front line has been a widely reported issue around the country.

John said the money he raises will be placed in a charity fund set up by the hospital specifically for PPE and the crowdfunding page will remain open until the hospital tells him it would like the money.

Scarborough Hospital. Picture: JPI Media/ Richard Ponter

He said: "I can stop it whenever. I am in contact with the hospital on a daily basis and they will tell me when they're most desperate and we'll close [the page].

"I think we will close it within a few days to a week."

He has received many questions about whether it is actually possible to buy the PPE the hospital needs, with stocks reportedly running low, but said whilst some items such as specific types of mask are harder for hospitals to buy there are lots of items such a visors and plastic overall smocks that can be bought relatively easily.

As a scientist John understands better than most the complexity of the task in tackling the Covid-19 coronavirus but says he thinks the chances of a vaccine being made are higher than normal, but it still takes time.

He explained: "There will be a vaccine but it's like how long is a piece of string, normally a vaccine takes a average of five to fifteen years. I expect one now within 12-18 months but when is anyone's guess at this moment.

"I've never seen in my entire career so many vaccines and drugs go into trials, there are currently around 70. That is unprecedented to get that many running at the same time for the same thing.

"That means the chances are very high compared to normal."

To donate to the fund for PPE at Scarborough Hospital click here.