NHS: Protective Clothing

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered on 28th April 2021.

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Photo of Dan Carden Dan Carden Labour, Liverpool, Walton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps he is taking to ensure the adequacy of the personal protective equipment (a) stockpile and (b) supply chain.

Photo of Jo Churchill Jo Churchill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

We have significantly strengthened and diversified our supply chains for personal protective equipment (PPE) by looking to new suppliers abroad as well as boosting United Kingdom manufacturing capability, which has helped build resilience. UK-made supply comprised 82% of the expected demand for PPE in England for the period 1 December 2020 to 28 February 2021, not including gloves, which were explicitly excluded from the September target.

We have almost 32 billion items of PPE on order, the majority of which has been delivered or en route. Since February 2020, the Department has distributed over 10.4 billion items of PPE, predominantly for use by health and social care services in England and by December 2020 we had built a four-month stockpile of all COVID-19 critical PPE. Many millions of items of PPE are now distributed through our PPE portal, which means primary and social care providers are able to order PPE to meet all their COVID-19 PPE needs until the end of March 2022, free of charge. We are confident we have secured enough PPE for the ongoing challenges of COVID-19 and that we have the processes and logistics in place to distribute PPE to where it is needed.

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