BFPA COVID-19 Survey

24 Jun 2020

For use within BFPA member companies only, not for external publication. Please contact or for more information.

BFPA members were invited to respond to a survey in June 2020, relating to the impacts of COVID-19 on their businesses recently. 70 replies were received from 31 manufacturers, 36 distributors and 3 consultants. Here is a summary of a few of the top level results from the survey:

Effect on Work Status: end March to end of May 2020

Most companies were affected by the lockdown to some degree, with April the worst hit month.

Furloughed Staff: end March to end May 2020

Many member companies furloughed some staff during the lockdown period, with plans to extend furlough into June and beyond.

Members’ use of Government business support schemes

There was a high take up of the various business support schemes offered by the UK government by respondents as follows:

How will the work place change?

The future, at least in the short to medium term, is likely to be different in many ways with the following changes anticipated:

Expectation for business over the next 12 months

A summary of the expected performance across sectors for the next 12 months is presented below:

Changes to the work environment as a result of COVID-19

Collectively, reported measures taken by the BFPA members have included:

  • Staff working from home wherever possible
  • Split shift working at the business premises
  • Provision of PPE as required and/or requested
  • Increased cleaning rota’s
  • Readily available hand sanitizers
  • Social distancing measures wherever possible.
  • Hand washing stations
  • Redesign of office layouts to better accommodate social distancing
  • Trade counters fully labelled up to encourage ‘COVID-19 safe’ behaviour
  • 2m distancing labels on walkways etc.
  • Full risk assessments at all sites
  • Installation of sneeze screens
  • One-way systems across all premises
  • Avoiding use of shared equipment
  • No customers or delivery staff allowed on premises
  • Mobile vehicles working from home – not depots
  • Video based meetings whenever possible
  • Mirror domes on corridor junctions with blind spots
  • ‘One person only’ policy in company vehicles
  • Removal of chairs at alternate work-stations

BFPA Members support the NHS during the COVID-19 pandemic

The BFPA is very proud that its members have played a significant role in meeting the Government’s challenge to address shortages of PPE and additional medical equipment required during the recent COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. In a recent survey of members carried out in early June 2020, 22 out of 70 companies reported they had been involved in the direct provision of PPE or other medical equipment of which 14 companies played an active role in meeting the Government’s ventilator challenge. Others also reported to have made contributions in other ways, such as charitable donations.

Source: BFPA Member COVID Survey June 2020

Several members reported using existing 3D printers to create face masks for medical staff. Others have supplied valves, tubing and hose assemblies for the manufacture of ventilators, including the CPAP ventilators designed and made by various F1 teams. Some members reported supplying parts for oxygen intensifying face masks for COPD sufferers, many of which were used in the temporary Nightingale hospitals set up around the country.

Not to stop there, in our survey some BFPA members also reported a wide range of other related projects such as designing and supply of product for COVID-19 laboratory testing equipment, design and manufacture of trolleys for ventilators and supply equipment for oxygen transportation!

Chris Buxton, BFPA CEO commented: “As an industry we can be proud of the fact that our members have clearly risen to the occasion, especially when it came to helping with the provision of PPE and ventilators technology – not to mention doing what was the right thing in the circumstances, despite the cost and the inconvenience to their businesses.”