Castledene Transport in Kent has teamed up with fellow hauliers Lenham Storage and Alan Firmin to donate 1,000 face visors to a local hospital after discovering the vital PPE was sitting on a floor in Gillingham.

Matt Clarke, Castledene director, said it was “shameful” that it was proving difficult to resolve a critical shortage of kit in NHS hospitals when the problem could easily be resolved overnight.

After conversations with a customer based in Gillingham that had diversified into making hospital face masks, as well as a friend who is an intensive care nurse, Clarke mobilised his business and got two other hauliers to purchase and now deliver the equipment to the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford.

Clarke said: “My customer normally makes stands for promotions in supermarkets, but there’s no demand at the moment, so they’ve diversified into making these masks.

“This customer got in touch with a competitor and together they can make 100,000 every 24 hours.

“They’re trying to do it so that they don’t have to furlough their own staff, but the government is dead set on getting everything from China.

“Delivering 100,000 bits of PPE is not difficult. With all the pallet networks we’ve got they could move all this overnight, easily.

“This isn’t rocket science!”

Castledene, Lenham and Firmin have together bought 1,000 masks and they should be delivered to the Ashford hospital by the weekend.

The three hauliers intend to deliver more locally in the coming weeks.

Clarke said: “The nurse put everything we do into perspective; it’s nothing compared to what they are going through.

“They are sitting with people they are withdrawing care from because they can’t do anything more for them and holding their hands until they die.

“This woman is going in every day to put herself at risk without the right equipment because it’s sitting on the floor in Gillingham.”