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John Lewis reopens factory to make NHS gowns

John Lewis is reopening its Lancashire textiles factory to make clinical gowns for the NHS. 

The department store will this week be making around 8,000 washable, clinical gowns for the Northumbria NHS Foundation Trust. 

It will also donate over 20,000 metres of cotton fabric from its haberdashery department and distribution centres to two groups making scrubs for the NHS. The donated fabric to ‘For The Love of Scrubs’ and ‘Scrubs Glorious Scrubs’ is expected to make around 6,000 scrubs. 

Stuart McDonald, head of the Lancashire textile factory said; “We’re all looking forward to re-opening our factory and threading our sewing machines again to play our part in helping the NHS. We expect to be able to produce around 2,000 gowns per week.

“The fabric we are donating for scrubs could have no better use than to keep people safe. Over the past few weeks, we have already donated over 400 metres of fabric to groups making face masks and scrubs for their local hospitals, pharmacies, care homes and communities. They have told us that this has enabled them to make over 3,000 face mask linings and 75 sets of scrubs.”

Sir James Mackey, chief executive of Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust said:  “We will be forever grateful for this support from John Lewis which will directly, and positively, impact on our front-line workers and patients - helping to keep them safe. 

“It is clear, we can only tackle the challenges faced through utilising local channels and relationships to do so. It is this spirit, of pulling together, that has helped us to achieve so many things over recent weeks, at pace and without any outside influence. We need to embrace with open arms all offers of help and turn these into actions that support our staff and patients.”

John Lewis will this week begin donating 250 electrical products such as coffee machines, kettles and toasters to staff rooms and wellbeing areas at 25 acute London hospitals. It has already delivered 60,000 essentials to NHS staff. 

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