Limavady-based Paragon Health is the first of a number of firms across Northern Ireland to have successfully completed a series of rigorous technical and suitability assessments to allow it to provide vital PPE for the health and social care sector.

Northern Ireland Health Minister Robin Swann has praised the ‘amazing’ response from local companies to help supply vital PPE to health care workers in Northern Ireland.

Minister Swann said: “As we all prepare for a critical phase in the battle against Covid-19 all parts of society have a part to play. Local industry has had the ingenuity, creativity and foresight to be part of the campaign in the fight against Covid-19 and I am delighted to make this announcement today.”

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He announced that a high-volume order has been placed with Paragon Health to supply Type IIR face masks.

Minister Swann added: “In addition a number of other local firms are nearing completion of the assessment process and if successful they too will begin production of the Type IIR masks in coming weeks. These orders are in excess of £49 million over 12 months.”

The Minister concluded by commending the work of Business Services Organisation (BSO) in bringing the contracts to fruition.

“These levels of production will be a massive step forward in ensuring continuity of supply of PPE for our front-line workers across all health settings with millions of these masks being produced locally each month,” Minister Swann said.

Martin Tierney from Paragon Health paid tribute to the healthcare workers using these medical masks.

He commented: “We appreciate the tremendous effort and compassion that healthcare workers put into caring for patients every day. We’re proud to help protect them and to provide local employment at the same time.”

Martin also highlighted the importance of supporting local businesses and the impact this has had on their staff numbers.

“Each new staff member we bring on is paying a mortgage, raising a family and spending money in our local shops. Local people, here in Northern Ireland, have the ability to make high quality goods and to serve our own needs,” he continued.

“We’ve designed and created world-class production processes to compete with any country on the manufacture of PPE. Our exports show that we can provide high quality goods, add local jobs and support research and development in a high-tech industry.”

Paragon Health is now able to offer capacity for millions of orders from various governmental and healthcare bodies.

Limavady-based Paragon Health was established to help meet the demands for personal protective equipment (PPE) and to provide a stable and safe local supply of surgical masks.

In July 2020, the family behind Seating Matters – a specialist in clinical and therapeutic seating solutions – repurposed and expanded their medical device factory to manufacture Type IIR disposable, medical masks in Northern Ireland under the Paragon Health banner. This rapid expansion has enabled Paragon Health to become one of the bigger international manufacturers and exporters of Type IIR medical masks.

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