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Nottinghamshire Healthcare helped by University of Nottingham

Lings Bar Hospital patient
The University of Nottingham has come to the aid of the NHS in Nottinghamshire after supplies of Fit Testing solution became scarce. Hazel Grieves, in Nottinghamshire Healthcare’s procurement team, asked for help from the University in developing the solution, as we had supplies of Bitrex in solid form, but not the facility to transform that into usable solution.

Professor Simon Langley-Evans responded to that call, and with all his students away, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, undertook to make 10 litres of solution for us to use. Actually making the solution was not a difficult job for the Head of the School of Biosciences, but he admitted that decanting and labelling the 300 bottles was a bit more tasking!

Bitrex solution is a bitter tasting chemical that is essential when training staff to use PPE masks, to ensure theirs and others safety during an infection outbreak. It tastes revolting, so if it is squirted in your face when you have a mask on and you can taste it, then your mask is not fitted correctly. Simon admits that four days after finishing the job, he still can’t get the taste of the solution out of his mouth.

The ten litres of solution was delivered just in time for a training session with AHPs who are being redeployed to clinical areas, so was great timing. We also have enough to share with colleagues at NUH and Sherwood Forest Hospitals. Carol Evans, IPC Lead, commented that the solution we have just finished was from 2008, from the SARs outbreak, so it lasts a long time!

John Williams is Head of Procurement for Nottinghamshire Healthcare: “Thanks to Simon for taking up the challenge! It’s very much appreciated. We can’t thank everyone enough who is helping the NHS at the moment – it means a great deal to us all.”








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