A former design and technology student helped create a covid secure screen for ear nose and throat doctors to use during medical examinations.

Sam Williams, from Wimbledon, was put forward to make a prototype of the specialist screen, after helping Dulwich College produce PPE in lockdown.

Since March 18, ENT clinicians have not been able to carry out the procedure safely because of the risk from patients sneezing or coughing as the camera is inserted.

This has led to a considerable backlog, with thousands of patients suffering pain and discomfort, in some cases with potentially life-threatening conditions going undiagnosed.

ENT Consultant from NHS’ Communitas Clinics, Plamen Donev, was so concerned that he came up with a solution – a fixed screen with apertures for hands and gloves.

He approached Dulwich College with some design sketches, which is when the Head of D&T recommended Sam for the project.

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Sam Williams said: "My A level exams were cancelled, so when the opportunity arose to have a go at this idea, it initially felt daunting as I have no medical training

"But, through talking with Communitas, I really got excited about being able to help create something that would make a difference.

"They knew what they needed but not how to achieve it.

"I got to understand what the requirements were and helped produce the design and then the prototype.

"I wasn’t sure whether I would be able to give them what they needed but, they were so pleased with the prototype, they wanted to roll it out from there."

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Original sketch

Sam added: "It has given me a real sense of achievement.

"Part of my A level course was learning to design and market, but this truly was the real thing.

"It was great to be able to take the theory of design and development and put it to real use with such a practical and helpful outcome. “

Consultant Plamen says he was overwhelmed with the result.

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He said: “I had been really nervous about going back to work because, as we all now know, medical staff are disproportionally affected by Covid-19.

"I quickly realised that this piece of kit would make me feel safer and considerably reduce the risk of infection.

“I couldn’t have got better results if I'd have gone to a professional design business."

Sam was commissioned to make four screens, one for each of the Communitas ENT clinics in Croydon, Barking & Dagenham, Havering & Redbridge, Herts Valley and City and Hackney.

He is now taking a gap year and will be looking for an apprenticeship within the construction sector.