A Cumbrian company has partnered with a specialist in medical sales and hospital builds to offer an innovative Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) subscription service for people.

From today, it has been made mandatory by the Government for people to wear face covering items such as masks, snoods or other items while in shops in England.

It has already been compulsory on public transport and at NHS facilities since June.

Rob Statham, company director of Letterbox PPE, has stated that the company has partnered with Mathew Griffin in order to combine expertise and offer a service supplying PPE to both households and businesses, due to the issue with some people struggling to get high-quality PPE.

Every four weeks, subscribers receive a delivery of protective face masks, as well as hand sanitiser and nitrile powder-free gloves - based on the level of their subscription.

Mr Statham, said: “The subscription service is an idea we had to help people source masks so they’re confident in their quality or know there’ll be a regular supply. We’re aware of a lot of low-grade imports that have flooded the market.

“And while some shops have started selling them they may not keep stock levels consistent. Without a face mask you can’t travel by public transport and, from later this month, enter shops and supermarkets.

“Ours are from a medical supplies company that specialises in medical-grade IIR and FFP2 masks, and all our PPE has been CE certified. The benefits with us are that it comes from a reputable company and the convenience of having it delivered to your door. It’s safe, hassle-free and our subscribers ensure they’re staying on the right side of the law.”

Until the pandemic, Mr Statham’s primary business, AirClad, predominantly supplied pop-up buildings and structures within the events sector - all that came to a shuddering halt as the world went on lockdown due to Covid-19.

Mr Statham added: “One of our factories in China completely switched its focus to producing masks, which led to our own decision to pivot the business in a similar direction. It was also a way of keeping our staff employed during this period of uncertainty.

“We are conscious not to disrupt the supply chain to the NHS and frontline workers, so we do not stock or sell the masks that they use.

“The masks that are available on our subscription service will stop around 95 per cent of virus particles, where the low-grade masks might stop around 50 per cent, and a scarf or a face covering pulled up over your face will filter out no more than 10 per cent.

“If you’re going to wear a mask, you might as well wear one that is doing something rather than it be a token gesture.

“I can see certain sectors using masks for the foreseeable future, and some people will no doubt incorporate them into their daily lives.”

The quality of readily-available PPE can vary and the effectiveness of face masks is key to this new service.

The two types of mask available from Letterbox PPE have different capabilities; the IIR-type is considered to be a single-use mask with a lifespan of around one-hour, while the FFP2 is effective for up to eight hours and can be stored and reused multiple times.