Shropshire hospice workers' vest design set to help patients across Europe

Hospice workers have come up with a new design for a vest to help patients receiving intravenous medication – and it is now to be made available across Europe.

Amanda Tormey, left, and Mel Pugh, in the specially designed vests.
Amanda Tormey, left, and Mel Pugh, in the specially designed vests.

Amanda Tormey and her friend and colleague Mel Pugh work at Severn Hospice in Telford.

They both care for and support people living with incurable illness – Amanda is a creative therapist and Mel is a healthcare assistant.

As well doing as their demanding jobs, the pair have also created an innovative vest for the administering of drugs, and it is now set for European distribution.

Before lockdown, Amanda was approached by one of the hospice’s doctors who explained to her that a patient was having difficulty carrying the portable syringe drivers which were used for her drug infusion.

She asked Amanda if she could design something so that the patients could carry the weighty drivers and make them more comfortable to use.

That evening Amanda created the vest at home.

“The next morning, I visited the patient,” said Amanda.

“Mel was her nursing assistant and told me all about the problems she had been having with the syringe pump driver. They were both excited to see the vest I had designed – which we called the AmanD vest: an amalgamation of my name and the name of the patient.”

But the pandemic meant that production of the vest was halted, and it has taken a further two years to be ready for distribution.

“We are so excited about this,” said Mel. “This really will make such a difference to everyone who uses a syringe pump driver or other medical devices.

“To know that Amanda’s design is going to be used in hospices in the UK, and further afield, is such a thrill, and to have been part of that process too makes me feel enormously proud.

“It has been quite a journey to have gone from that initial conversation when we talked about the problem the patient was having to seeing the vest available to buy, but it is one that I am so pleased to have made. I really think Amanda has done something incredible.”

At the moment, patients carry their syringe pump drivers in cotton shoulder bags, but this can be uncomfortable because of the weight and bulkiness of the machines. Now the AmanD vest gives the patient increased freedom, hides drug delivery lines, and distributes the weight of the drivers across the body.

And because the drivers are held in internal pockets, the risk of sunlight degrading the medicines held in the syringes is almost eliminated.

Becky Richardson, director of care at Severn Hospice, said: “The vest that Amanda designed in collaboration with Mel is wonderful. They will make the administering of medication to patients using syringe pump drivers far more comfortable and will improve their quality of life while maintaining their dignity.

“Our staff here at Severn Hospice care for so many people in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin and Mid Wales and I am proud that Amanda and Mel’s vests will be helping people with incurable illness all over the country.”

For information about the AmanD vest, call 0333 9000 900 or email

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