In response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting increase in demand for its nurse call systems, healthcare communications and bedhead services specialist, SSG, has boosted production capacity at its manufacturing base near Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, as well as investing in the rapid development of an off-the-shelf ‘wired’ nurse call solution to make available alongside its ‘wireless’ solution.
“As a UK company that has worked in partnership with the NHS for many years, we believe we should be doing all we possibly can to support healthcare staff and improve the well-being of patients during this strange and uncertain period. We are determined to play our small part in mitigating the potential devastating effects of the pandemic, comments SSG’s Commercial Director, Chris Turner.
In order to keep up with unprecedented demand, SSG’s operations and manufacturing processes have been completely overhauled and optimised, and the company has opened up additional manufacturing space to accommodate an extra production line for its wireless nurse call solution which has seen a ten-fold increase in demand.
The company has also adapted its working patterns, introducing extra shifts at its factory so that it can operate seven days a week, with staff working overtime, weekends and over the Easter bank holiday period.
Philip Marsh, Production Director explains: “Our workforce – both past and present – has always been a tight-knit community and when word got round that we were increasing production capacity in order to fulfill orders in the shortest time possible, former employees with existing knowledge of our systems asked to be reinstated.
“We’re extremely proud of all our staff who have taken on additional responsibilities and extra shifts to not only keep up with demand for Covid-19 related products, but to also ensure that we continue to meet our existing pre-Covid-19 order book commitments – which I’m delighted to say we are.”
These changes are enabling SSG to work with many hospitals to meet what would ordinarily seem like impossible delivery timescales. The Covid-19 pandemic has already seen SSG’s expertise brought in to assist on over 30 projects.
SSG has also put a huge amount of time and effort into working with its supply chain partners to ensure a continuity of supply of component parts to keep production at such a high level, in some cases flying in additional stocks of extrusion for its bedhead trunking products from overseas.
The development of a new rapid to install ‘wired’ nurse call system to sit alongside existing product ranges comes as a direct response to help support trusts that are quickly expanding their care facilities to treat Covid-19 patients.
Turner explains: “We have never before witnessed such high demand for temporary and emergency ‘out-of-the-box’ hospital communication systems, and with more and more trusts looking to recommission previously mothballed hospital wards, extend existing ward capacity and build entirely new hospitals, demand for this type of solution is, sadly, only expected to rise.
Turner concludes: “Through the commitment, passion and dedication of our employees – supported by our remote working and connected technology platforms – we will continue to provide the levels of service and support that our customers and users of our systems expect and deserve. Our regional account management team – supported by our in-house technical teams – are available to offer support and guidance on nurse call and bedhead trunking solutions during these challenging times.”
The manufacturing part of the business is supported by a 45-strong team of engineers based around the UK, equipped with equipment spares to meet service and project needs.