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27.05.20

PPE supply in the UK boosted by more than 100 new government deals

The UK Government has signed deals with more than 100 new suppliers from across the globe, as well as ramping up domestic efforts, as it significantly boosts the country’s PPE supply to meet demand from health and social care settings during the current coronavirus outbreak.

Newly-announced deals include securing a further 3.7 billion gloves to meet expected demand, as well as significantly ramping up domestic manufacturing capabilities for PPE in the UK, including facemasks, visors, gowns and aprons.

An estimated 2 billion items of PPE will be made in the UK as part of deals signed by domestic companies.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, around 1.5 billion items of PPE have been delivered to frontline staff in England, with tens of millions more distributed in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland too.

Demand globally for PPE has hit record levels during the global pandemic, with a PPE distribution network having been collectively built from scratch government and industry. More than 58,000 settings including care homes, hospices and community organisations now receive PPE deliveries following help from the likes of the Armed Forces, NHS Supply Chain and other partners.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said: “Last month, I set a national challenge to ensure we continue to supply enough PPE to those on the frontline of this battle.

“We have now signed deals with over 100 suppliers across the world to secure more PPE, and at the same we have ramped up domestic production. We have now ordered 2 billion pieces of PPE from homegrown firms which is also great news for jobs and the economy, and over 3 billion pieces from abroad.

“Worldwide demand for PPE has never been higher so I want to thank Paul [Lord Deighton] for his work in ensuring that PPE continues to be delivered to where it is needed.”

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Since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, around 1.5 billion items of PPE have been delivered to frontline staff in England
 

Alongside bolstering its own domestic manufacturing capabilities, the UK has worked with numerous international partners to procure additional PPE supplies throughout the pandemic, despite demand creating a challenging global marketplace.

A specialist team has been established to secure new supply lines from across the world, with efforts to strengthen and diversify the supply chain ever-continuing. Equally, as many as 14,500 offers from suppliers are currently being rapidly processed to ensure they meet the strenuous safety and quality standards necessary to protect NHS staff, as well as prioritising larger volumes offers.

Domestic production is simultaneously being ramped up to unlock new avenues to get PPE to the frontline as part of the government’s ‘Make’ programme, headed up by Lord Paul Deighton, who is leading the government’s efforts to secure PPE and ensure this gets to where it is needed. As part of this, he is driving forward coordination of the end-to-end process design and manufacture of new domestic PPE supplies.

The government is in contact with over 350 potential UK manufacturers and contracts have been signed to manufacture over 2 billion items of PPE in the UK.

Lord Paul Deighton added: “As unprecedented demand for PPE continues around the world, British industry has stepped forward to strengthen the UK’s response and increase PPE supplies.

“We have already secured millions of PPE items through deals with British industry, and continue to work with hundreds of potential manufacturers to further bolster our domestic supply chain now and in the future.”

From this week, GPs and small care homes can also register on the PPE Portal, a new online portal developed in collaboration with eBay to help primary and social care providers to order critical PPE, as it is scaled up nationally.

The PPE Portal has been tested with the sector and is now being scaled up nationally over the coming weeks. During this phase of the roll-out, GPs and small residential and domiciliary social care services will be invited to register on the portal.

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