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Protection for health and social care staff

Improved distribution system for vital equipment.

New measures are being introduced to further improve the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) to health and social care staff.

As of today (30 March 2020) the improvements will both provide regular supplies and improve the distribution of masks, aprons, gloves and other crucial items of PPE direct to those on the frontline who need it.

New measures include:

  • delivery of eight weeks’ worth of PPE to all GP surgeries. This will begin today and is expected to be completed by the end of the week
  • delivery of PPE to local cluster points for onward distribution or collection by social care providers
  • extra staff to prepare PPE orders for social care, plus additional delivery drivers, longer delivery hours and use of more external delivery companies to increase capacity
  • adding to well-established arrangements in hospitals, all health boards now have a single point of contact to manage local PPE supply and distribution

Over last four to six weeks, around 34 million items PPE items have been delivered to hospitals in Scotland providing care for coronavirus (COVID-19) cases and other conditions.

Health Secretary Jeane Freeman yesterday said:

“The safety of our health and social care workforce is an absolute priority, and we are continuously looking to improve the distribution of the protective equipment that is so vital in the fight against COVID-19.

“These improvements will help to make sure we continue to deliver supplies needed - even in the face of unprecedented demand across the health and social care system.

 “We currently have adequate stocks of PPE – equating to six weeks’ worth of hospital stock for the most critical items.

“We will be issuing almost eight million items of PPE stock in the coming week to support Primary Care and Social Care. Work continues as an absolute priority to source further PPE to ensure there continues to be an appropriate supply for all our health and social care workforce.” 


An additional 1.5 million protective respirators have also been brought into use from the NHS stockpile.  

In addition to the millions of PPE items being delivered to over 700 hospital locations next week, the following deliveries are planned:

  • social care local delivery points – 500,000 aprons, 750,000 masks and 2 million gloves divided between up to 70 delivery points (3.25m of stock in total)
  • GPs – 1 million aprons, 1 million masks, 2 million gloves and 550,000 goggles - approximately 6-8 weeks of supplies for GPs (4.6 million of stock in total)


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