Ventilators: EU Action

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 30th April 2020.

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Photo of Jon Ashworth Jon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, on what date did the UK Government sign the EU's ventilator procurement scheme known as the Joint Procurement Agreement.

Photo of Edward Argar Edward Argar Minister of State (Department of Health and Social Care)

The United Kingdom has been a signatory to the European Union Joint Procurement Agreement since 2014 and is eligible to participate in EU joint procurements during the transition period under the terms of the Withdrawal Act.

Owing to an initial communication problem, the UK did not receive an invitation in time to take part in the first four EU Joint Procurements in response to COVID-19, including the ventilators scheme.

However, participating in those four initial joint procurement schemes would not have allowed us to do anything that we have not been able to do ourselves. We currently have over 10,800 mechanical ventilators available to National Health Service patients, with thousands more ventilators on order from manufacturers in the UK and abroad.

The UK will participate in the EU Joint Procurement scheme on therapeutics that is soon to launch and will consider participating in other future schemes on the basis of public health requirements, including any on personal protective equipment.

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