Covid-19 (Recovery Strategy) (Resilience)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament at on 27 April 2022.

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Photo of John Swinney John Swinney Scottish National Party

If my recollection is correct, Alpha Solway was providing supplies to the Scottish effort through the PPE network. I am very grateful to the employees and leadership of Alpha Solway for all that they contributed.

In all such circumstances, the development of the domestic supply chain is very important. That was a key priority for my ministerial colleague Ivan McKee, who did a tremendous amount of work in dialogue with the business community to enable us to manufacture more of the required PPE in Scotland, rather than relying on imports. Fundamentally, I agree with Mr Carson about the importance of that point.

I need to raise the issue of stockpiling. If we stockpile for the possibility of a pandemic and no pandemic arises, it is inevitable that there may well be stock that cannot be used within particular periods of time. However, efforts can be made to recondition stock to make sure that we maximise the effectiveness and efficiency of the arrangements. I assure Mr Carson that those arrangements are very much at the heart of the pandemic learning that we have undertaken, and that we certainly want to encourage the domestic supply chain to the maximum possible level.