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Sonia Carley, founder of Friendly Face Mask, is petitioning for technical and financial support for her unique medical-grade face masks to be made available for NHS use. Carley was inspired by a local request for a lipreading-friendly mask. Despite never having used a sewing machine before, Carley drew upon her skills as an engineer to achieve a complex design, suitable for both lipreading and use with hearing aids.
Carley has already supplied over a thousand of the reusable masks which have been on sale since June 1. The proceeds from the sales have been used to fund the technical development of the Type IIR NHS mask.
Working in conjunction with MHRA, The Surgical Materials Testing Laboratory (SMTL) and Medilink Carley describes getting the masks approved as a "technical minefield" due to a lack of testing standards for this type of mask.
Sonia said "The government should be assisting the public and the NHS by backing my masks and ensuring that I have the professional and financial support made available to me to enable getting them into use.”
Carley contacted her local MP for Salisbury, John Glen notifying him of the masks. He shared the products on social media but has taken no further action to assist Carley even after her repeated attempts to gain his support.
Describing the inaction as a "huge social injustice", Carley is asking that the government support her technically and financially to meet PPE manufacturing regulations and get the masks into NHS use.
Despite this, parliament is clearly aware of the issue; the need for these masks was raised in the Commons without acknowledging Carley's work. Carley will now be undertaking an offshore campaign to secure funding to pay for the technical guidance required. She asks why as a single parent she is having to fund this research for the NHS.
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