Millions more items of PPE for frontline staff from new business partnerships

11 May 2020 12:05 PM

NHS and social care staff in the UK are set to receive millions of items of personal protective equipment (PPE) over the coming months thanks to new collaborations with a number of organisations.

NHS and social care staff in the UK are set to receive millions of items of personal protective equipment (PPE) over the coming months thanks to new, innovative collaborations with a number of organisations, the government has announced.

Companies including Amazon, the Royal Mint, Jaguar Land Rover and eBay are supporting the government’s ongoing efforts to get PPE to the hardworking frontline staff, at no additional cost to the taxpayer.

This follows a call-to-action from the government for UK businesses to use their existing manufacturing power and expertise to meet the growing demand for protective equipment. 

More than 200 potential manufacturers have been identified and many have been contracted to make over 25 million items of PPE and deliver 12 million square metres of PPE fabric to produce items like gowns, gloves and aprons.

Deliveries have already started, including contracts for 2.5 million aprons and 50,000 bottles of hand sanitiser a week. Firms will be supported through the regulatory, testing and procurement process in less than a month to get PPE to the frontline as quickly as possible.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock recently said:

“In continuing to tackle this global pandemic we outlined the need for a great national effort to ensure our frontline NHS and social care continue to have all the equipment they need.

“The support from businesses who accepted this challenge has been phenomenal.

“International demand for PPE has never been so high, and we are now working with over 1,000 businesses and establishing a British manufacturing base, which will see tens of millions of extra items of PPE delivered to the frontline in the coming weeks alone.

“I want to thank Lord Deighton for his work leading this national effort, and everyone who has stepped up to the plate.”

Lord Paul Deighton, adviser to the Secretary of State on PPE, recently said:

“It’s been fantastic to see so many companies come forward and offer their support for this vital undertaking. We are working tirelessly to look at all offers and are currently engaging with over a thousand different companies.

“However, there’s still more that can be done and I encourage any company with the capacity to step up and join the response. I look forward to seeing what future partnerships we can produce and what they can bring to the table to get healthcare workers the PPE they need.”

Examples of some of the support that has been accepted includes:

The partnerships will help to bolster existing measures the government has implemented to increase the supply of PPE to the NHS and social care sector, as set out in the government’s national PPE plan published in April. This includes the creation of a PPE distribution network with the NHS, industry and armed forces, and a 24-hour NHS-run helpline to report any shortage of supplies.

These collaborations are only the latest in a growing list of successful partnerships with companies across the UK and the world since the beginning of this crisis. 

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