Cause UK designed and managed a media launch for Surfaceskins achieving regional, national and international coverage.
Designed, developed and manufactured in Yorkshire, Surfaceskins self-disinfecting door pads kill germs and bacteria in seconds. Global demand for the technology has boomed during the coronavirus pandemic.
Cause UK drafted and pitched the story to general and trade media to help showcase an innovation that is helping to break the circuit of infection in the winter months.
Clair Challenor-Chadwick, Managing Director of Cause UK said, “We are thrilled to support ethical businesses, and it’s fantastic to help raise awareness of this Yorkshire innovation that’s having such a positive impact.” Cause UK achieved coverage in The Telegraph, Yorkshire Post and BBC Radio. We also secured PA photography and the story went far and wide appearing in regional newspaper titles across the UK, and digital news platforms including Yahoo and MSN. The story went as far as Canada. Read the full story below…
Surfaceskins is supporting a Harrogate care home provider, Vida Healthcare, to install the technology in their specialist dementia care home, Vida Grange in Pannal.
Across the UK, between March and mid-June, deaths involving Covid-19 made up almost 30 per cent of all deaths of care home residents. The Government’s Adult Social Care Winter action plan states visitors to care homes in areas with high numbers of the coronavirus cases will have to be supervised, while visits in ‘areas of intervention’ will be stopped completely.
James Ryecroft, Managing Director of Vida Healthcare, said: “Providing a safe environment is our number one priority. Any risk needs to be taken extremely seriously in a care home setting. Alongside PPE, hand washing and social distancing, Surfaceskins offers an extra measure to help safeguard our residents and our staff.”
Surfaceskins, which took seven years to develop by material scientists and infection control experts at the Nonwovens Innovation and Research Institute (NIRI) at Leeds University, was initially designed to help reduce the spread of germs between individuals and cyclical viruses such as flu and the norovirus.
The unique innovation secretes a small amount of alcohol gel when pressed by the user, to achieve self-disinfection of its top surface in seconds and stop the transmission of germs from repeated door contact. It’s estimated by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention that 80% of infections are transmitted by hands. The flu pathogen can survive outside the body for up to 24 hours on contaminated surfaces.
Professor Mark Wilcox, Consultant and Head of Microbiology Research at Leeds Teaching Hospitals said: “As soon as you touch a door you risk becoming contaminated from the people who have recently used the door. Hand washing only provides a certain amount of protection if you then touch a contaminated door. Disruptive and game-changing products could be a key weapon in the battle against the spread of infection – whether it’s flu, MRSA or the coronavirus. The technical textile specialists at NIRI have dedicated years developing Surfaceskins, which provides a simple yet extremely effective solution.” Professor Wilcox also serves in an advisory role to UK SAGE (COVID-19).
Surfaceskins officially launched to the healthcare market in Dubai in 2019, receiving significant interest globally with distributors all over the world. With the advent of Covid-19, Surfaceskins has seen a huge growth in enquiries and demand in the last six months.
Adam Walker, Director at Surfaceskins, said: “Our innovation is not a knee-jerk reaction to Covid-19, it took many years to develop and was initially conceived for clinical settings, such as special care baby units and intensive care wards in hospitals, where we felt it could do the most good.”
Designed, developed and manufactured in Leeds and York, the product has been validated by the NHS. Mass demand for the product is thanks to its low cost and ease to install.
Adam said: “As you can imagine aside from healthcare settings, we are now responding to demand from companies engaged in everything from food production to restaurants, care homes, cruise ships, schools, universities and of course protecting staff and customers in office space. It’s any sector, anywhere, the markets have blown wide open due to a shift in focus towards hygiene. We are of course trying to meet demand from all sectors, but it’s important to us that we prioritise local care providers and the most vulnerable.”
Adam, an industrial designer, came up with the concept almost a decade ago after simply observing people’s behaviour. “The design brief came from just witnessing lots of people go through a door in a doctor’s surgery and not wanting to touch the door,” he said. “I think most people can associate with or have at some point used an elbow or knee to open a door they simply did not want to touch. It was clear from the start that the product had to self-disinfect seconds between users, not minutes or hours and that became the real unique challenge ultimately utilising alcohol gel. Where we are now of course is a different world to where we began, it has been a massive team effort, working with technical textile academics to further develop and refine the gel delivery.”
Surfaceskins has a two-fold impact, it disinfects in seconds to help protect every user and stop the spread of germs, but also serves as a high visibility advertising platform to deliver key infection control, social distance or even the government’s current, ‘hands, face, space‘ campaign message.
Photos were taken on 6th October 2020 by Gerard Binks at Vida Grange Care Home, Harrogate and shows staff member Debbs Bannister using one of the Surfaceskins self disinfecting door pads. The image was taken from outside the building. Photo credits, Gerard Binks