The Wokingham Paper

Earley resident launches crowd funder to buy hospital staff protective equipment

Akhil Gupta launched a crowdfunding campaign to buy PPE for staff at Royal Berkshire Hospital.

AFTER hearing about the national lack of personal protective equipment for NHS staff, an Earley resident launched a crowdfunding campaign to help.

Akhil Gupta — who is friends with a doctor at Royal Berkshire Hospital — launched the campaign seven days ago, to help address the PPE shortage.

He said: “My friend, who is a GP in the A&E Department of Royal Berks, said his team doesn’t have enough of the correct equipment.

“Everyday in the news I was hearing about how the NHS is underfunded, and there isn’t enough PPE.

“So I decided to source PPE from private sellers, to buy them for the NHS.”

Mr Gupta is buying the equipment from non-NHS suppliers and privately held sources, including eBay sellers so that his crowdfunder does not disrupt NHS supply routes.

But the equipment bears a higher price this way.

“The respiratory masks are so expensive,” he said. “On the private market they cost £20 each — and they’re disposable so they only get worn once. So I’ve just spent £600 on 30 masks.”

Since its launch, the crowdfunder raised £1,130 in donations. 

With this, Mr Gupta has bought 2900 disposable gloves, 2500 disposable overshoe covers, 50 safety glasses and 10 protective hoods.

He added: “To ensure that the items meet the strict NHS standards, I have been following the guidance of my friend, before purchase.

“The people in this community are so generous, one anonymous person even donated £500.”

Mr Gupta hopes to continue raising money for PPE for the staff at Royal Berkshire Hospital for as long as is needed.

To donate to the crowdfunder, visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rbh-nhs-corona

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