A COMPANY in Cork has stepped in to alter a number of shoddy and unusable personal protective equipment (PPE) which was bought from China.
Sullane Valley Manufacturing, based in Baile, has been modifying the kit so that it can be used in Irish hospitals.
They've been trimming the legs of unusable jumpsuits and using them as sleeves, trying to make the best out of the shoddy equipment.
Earlier this month, it emerged that around 20% of PPE purchased was ineffective, either because it was too small or was out of date.
Because it didn't meet HSE requirements, it couldn't be distributed to hospital staff around the country.
Director of the company behind the move, Siobhan Ui Scannlain, said: "They got a load of jumpsuit-type things. So we took the legs off them and used them as sleeves, because a lot of the sleeves on the garments are too short.
"They also had elastic at the end, so that was good," she added.
"They also wanted to get rid of the zips and use velcro because that's safer."
Staff were working morning to night to get the equipment ready ever since they took up the job on Monday.
"The most important thing for them is to be able to remove the garment quickly when they've finished working with the sick patient, to be able to remove it easily and dispose of it," Ms Ui Scannlain added.
"That's our aim, to try to make it very simple (for them), but that they have full protection, and that they can remove the garment easily."
She stressed that her company was "happy to everything we can" to make as many items of PPE suitable for use.
"We understand now what nurses need for their teams, and when you have that understanding then you can do whatever they need," she said.