Mattress firm ‘breaking all output records’ to supply NHS

A firm that makes mattresses for the NHS has said it is “breaking all output records” as staff work around the clock to meet increasing demand.

All staff at the GNG Group, a specialist foam manufacturer based in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, have moved to the company’s healthcare division – which is now working 24 hours a day, seven days a week to get mattresses out to the NHS.

The business, which is supplying new Nightingale units and other NHS hospitals, said it received six months of orders in the last week and has produced 16,000 mattresses.

Coronavirus
Dave Holdsworth (left) and Keith Aveyard get some mattresses on the road (GNG Group/PA)

Staff have moved from the company’s other divisions, which include sport and safety and domestic mattresses, to produce the mattresses and seat cushions needed in the healthcare sector.

Bosses said employees are working new shift patterns and have cancelled holidays to help.

Dave Hampton, production director at GNG, said: “The staff have been fantastic. Anything we’ve asked of them, they’ve gone over and above.

“They’re now working 24 hours, seven days a week. We’ve got people cancelling their holidays that they’ve had planned.

“They want to come in to make sure they get the mattresses out to the National Health Service.”

He added: “Every individual understands how important they are to the business and to actually getting the demand out.

“There is a real feeling that they are all doing their bit to help the National Health Service so that’s gone down tremendously well.”

Our staff have given up their Easter break and have been working long shifts to get the job done – Thank you. #keyworkers#Nationaleffort#Healthy#Colleagues#Production#Cleaning#Proud#Thankyou#mattresses@BBCLookNorth@yorkpress@WakeExpress@itvcalendar@thebedfedpic.twitter.com/Hgxgb4UZaJ

— GNG Group (@GNGGroup_UK) April 13, 2020

Mr Hampton said changes to working practices mean output has increased by 60% to 70% through machines.

He said: “We’re breaking all output records.”

Darren Potterton, managing director for the healthcare division, said the company produced a “record” 2,000 mattresses in one day last week – compared to a normal weekly production of 1,500.

He said staff and suppliers have helped the company “tremendously” with zips, labels, plastic bags and foam – ensuring a continuous supply of key components.

Phil Whittell, managing director, said: “Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a rapid increase in orders to help meet the critical care needs of the NHS in the fight against Covid-19 and, like hundreds of companies throughout the UK, we are committed to doing everything we can to help.”

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