Worcs engineering company awarded grant to help tackle spread of COVID-19 in dental surgeries

Dental surgery

A Pershore-based precision engineering company  has received a grant from Worcestershire County Council to develop a device to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 within dental surgeries.

Throughout the pandemic, high-speed equipment has posed a risk to dental staff due to producing spray from patients’ mouths which can contribute towards the spread of the virus.

As part of the County Council’s Here2Help Business Programme, the COVID-19 Response grant has enabled Downhurst Engineering to manufacture an adaptor for a ‘dental vacuum gauge’ to measure oral spray and decrease the risk of transmission.

The company is working alongside Cattani Esam UK in Bromsgrove and will be using a new machine from Mazak in Worcester, to produce, develop and supply the game-changing product to dental surgeries.

Trudi Payne, a spokesperson from Downhurst Engineering, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded the COVID-19 Response grant, which has allowed us to purchase a new machine which efficiently produces vacuum gauge adaptors for dental equipment. This will be invaluable in enabling our company to continue to provide support in response to the pandemic.”

Councillor Ken Pollock, Cabinet Member with Responsibility for Economy and Infrastructure, said: “It’s great to see innovative local businesses coming together to combat the spread of COVID-19. Despite recent challenges, Downhurst Engineering is a brilliant example of how businesses within the region can utilise our Here2Help Business support to drive positive change which spans far beyond Worcestershire.”

Established in 1972, Downhurst Engineering supplies parts to a variety of different sectors including health, rail, automotive, defence, aerospace and oil & gas.

The COVID-19 Response grant is just one of many initiatives within the Here2Help Business Programme, set up by Worcestershire County Council to support businesses during the pandemic.

A limited number of COVID-19 Response grants of up to £100,000 are available to eligible projects that support manufacturing, research and development towards the pandemic, as well funding for suppliers or potential suppliers for the NHS or vital services.