Coronavirus update: the latest news from Yorkshire businesses

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Harrogate-based specialist dementia care provider Vida Healthcare, has announced it has a number of jobs available in an attempt to provide temporary employment for those who are out of work due to the coronavirus crisis.

Vida Healthcare is looking for support to help with resident care and operations. It is looking to fill a number of roles, from care assistants and nurses, to housekeeping and kitchen staff.

James Rycroft, managing director, said: “We continue to provide the best care for our residents despite these unusual times.

“We also want to help local people who might be facing financial difficulties as a result of losing their job or having to close their business.”

For those interested in applying, e-mail  or visit


A Bradford business that was saved from the history books when its owners were bought out of administration is stepping up to help hospitals.

Ormandy Newade manufactures process equipment for customers across the process manufacturing, pharmaceutical and food industries.

It is part of Ormandy Rycroft, the assets of which were acquired by Maloney Metalcraft, part of Avingtrans PLC, in February 2018.

The company’s product range includes specialist Clean Steam Generators, which can be used to provide high purity steam to autoclaves for the sterilising of medical equipment and scrubs.

The business is offering to manufacture five Clean Steam Generators for hospitals or medical centres that require extra capacity free of charge, prioritising their manufacture over other projects in the works.

Philip Wade, project director at Ormandy Newade, said: “The whole country is pulling together in the fight against the virus.

“The manufacturing industry is already working around the clock to develop designs and capacity to provide the ventilators our hospitals will need and, while our expertise isn’t suited to that particular project, we wanted to contribute what we could.

“Ensuring hospitals and medical professionals can keep medical equipment and clothing sterile is a key part of the fight against the spread of the virus and if we can help by increasing capacity at this challenging time, it’s the right thing to do.”

David Dzimitrowicz, managing director of Ormandy Rycroft, added: “While businesses and individuals across the country are facing significant challenges at the moment, it is the medical professionals working on the frontline that need our support more than most.

“We hope that by providing these specialist Clean Steam Generators free of charge, it will go some way towards making their lives easier – and mitigate the spread of the virus, increasing our chances of success for the wider community.”

Any medical facility interested in obtaining an additional Clean Steam Generator from Newade should contact Stuart Goodison, commercial director at Ormandy, on 01274 490911.


Harrogate-based business Inhealthcare has developed an automated symptom checker for the daily screening of thousands of people for signs of coronavirus before their routine outpatient appointments.

Every weekday, City Health Care Partnership (CHCP) receives around 1,000 patients at its clinics and typically arranges another 1,000 nurse visits in community settings.

The onset of coronavirus means these patients must be screened before they have any contact with healthcare professionals. CHCP does not have the capacity to do this manually so turned to Inhealthcare to develop a digital alternative.

The company’s remote monitoring technology connects with the individual patient on the morning of the appointment via automated telephone calls and text messages and relays a request to complete a symptom questionnaire.

Each patient’s response to the questionnaire is analysed and any warning signs are flagged up for CHCP, allowing healthcare professionals to prepare accordingly or provide the patient with guidance.

Patient records are updated automatically through Inhealthcare’s integration with all major NHS systems. If any patients don’t respond to the request, they are sent reminders and alerts are raised for any patient not responding.

Bryn Sage, chief executive of Inhealthcare, said: “As a digital health company, we will do everything we can to protect our brave NHS staff as they carry on with their vital jobs of providing care to people in the community.

“We have been inspired by the collective efforts by everyone involved in setting up this new NHS service so quickly during a time of crisis.

“It is a simple and scalable solution to a difficult challenge faced by CHCP in common with all healthcare providers and will ease pressure on the NHS at a time when every single resource is needed in the battle against coronavirus.

“We are ready and willing to share our learning with other NHS providers as they look to launch similar services.”


Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Gin distiller Harrogate Tipple, which recently announced that it would be switching production from gin to hand sanitiser, has been supported by Andrew Jones, MP for Harrogate and Knaresborough,

Together, they have successfully lobbied the Treasury to remove duty from alcohol used in the production of hand sanitiser across the UK.

Harrogate Tipple, the distiller of Harrogate Gin and Rum along with the Downton Abbey gin and whisky range, is planning to produce a not-for-profit alcohol-based hand sanitiser for the care sector in response to the growing need due to the spread of coronavirus.

With duty due on a 1 litre bottle of 80% alcohol currently costing around £25, the waiving of the tax will make the products dramatically cheaper to produce.

Steven Green, co-founder of Harrogate Tipple, said: “With organisations such as care homes, GP practices and dental practices all struggling to source much-needed hand sanitiser, we realised that we could help by quickly switching production.

“Working with my fantastic production manager, Andrea Natiello, we consulted World Health Organisation guidelines and last week successfully produced our first batch of 500 bottles of 80% alcohol-based hand sanitiser.

“Our plan is to supply the hand sanitiser at cost, with no profit margin, to the care sector, charities and other businesses providing vital public services.

“However, as a distillery, HMRC told us we would still be liable to pay duty on the alcohol used in the hand sanitiser.

“Fortunately, hearing of the problem, Andrew Jones MP got in touch and has been in discussions with HMRC which has now agreed to waive the duty, enabling us to make the product at a realistic cost.”

Co-founder Sally Green added: “We’ve now been inundated with orders from all sorts of businesses – for example, Ripon police station as well as the Royal Mail in Harrogate which will be delivering medicines.

“We’ve already started production and our plan is to make as much sanitiser as we can – we’ve ordered more alcohol and other ingredients and believe we have the capacity to produce thousands of bottles a day.

“We are struggling to source enough plastic bottles of all sizes, so if any businesses have large quantities they can donate, we would really appreciate it.”

Andrew Jones MP said: “Yorkshire is renowned for its innovation and sense of community – this is a great idea from Steve of how we can contribute to the health emergency.

“I am proud to be supporting the initiative. In fact, I believe that my approach to the Treasury on behalf of Steve and Harrogate Tipple was the first such approach made to the Treasury in the entire country about this issue but now the idea is being rolled out nationally.”