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Disease Control: Protective Clothing

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN HL3957, tabled on 5 May 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the UK's stockpile of personal protective equipment has decreased over the last ten years and, if so, what financial saving was made as a result.

Answered on

1 June 2020

The Department’s advisory Committee for New and Emerging Respiratory Virus Threats Advisory Group (NERVTAG) makes recommendations to the Government on what medicines and clinical consumables should be stockpiled for pandemic influenza preparedness including relevant scientific information that is used for estimating target stock levels. No assessment has been made of variance in the spend on personal protective equipment (PPE) over the past 10 years, therefore we are unable to estimate the financial savings made as a result.

A small portion of the required FFP3 respirators and gloves have ‘just in time’ arrangements in place. The majority of the stockholding for these products and all other PPE is held in the stockpile on a ‘just in case’ basis.